extra food and children's helpline

Posting this message (slightly edited now) forwarded by my respected senior Muktha blog friend Pranesh:

——

Hi, If you have a function at home and have more food than needed and you don’t want to waste it, then don’t hesitate to call 1098 – MakkaLa Sahyaaya VaaNi (children’s helpline).

They will come and collect the food.

Please circulate.

We have to thank God for the food that we can have easily.

But on the other hand….ironically, we still waste the food that we buy!

“Helping hands are better than Praying Lips.”

——–

As we receive many such emails, I called up the line to validate it, before posting it.

A very sensible sounding lady picked up the phone, and she clarified that yes if there is extra food left over, then we can call them up and they put them in touch with the agency who will pick up the extra food.

Then I also asked one question that’s been nagging my mind for ages…

…when we see these child laborers, what do we do?

The answer of course isn’t a simple formula.

I told her someone’s argument – he’d said that he knew that he was in a way encouraging it, but he wanted to do something, yet he didn’t have time for any kind of bigger picture analysis – so he’d give the child some money. He said that that was the most immediate and practical thing he could do to fulfill its needs.

The gist of the conversation with this lady was that what one does really depends on the strength of the willingness of the person who wants to help – how sincere is he in really helping.

– If he wants to the easiest shortcut to help, and get it over with in a couple of minutes, then giving some money will do. But by doing this, he is being a part of the customer base for the sympathy-based business and she said that this was clearly the wrong thing to do and its better to ignore them (of course, without being condescending about it).
– If he really wants to help, then he could instead take some time out, buy the child something to eat rather than just give the money directly.
– If he really really wants to help, he could call the Child Helpline, and take some time to explain the situation and the location and any other details if necessary. She said that one could call the Makkala Sahaaya VaaNi – the Child Helpline at 1098, and they have one of 3 centers in Bangalore.
– Of course there’s always the possibility to follow up as well!

She was quite informative, she said that the law protects anyone below 14 years. I was surprised, I’d thought the age limit was 18 years, but she said the child labor law specifies 14 years. They relocated some children in a Children’s Home (located near Nimhans)

There are different kinds of laborers – waiters, construction workers, all kinds of varieties. But the latest is begging children – mothers pour sauce etc to make it look like an injury or burn, and gain sympathy of public and gain some money.

I asked her her name, she said she is obliged to remain anonymous. She works in the police department and volunteers her service there. I asked her if and how anyone else could help, she replied that they’re welcome to do so… and could do any of:

– joining them on a rescue operation.
– follow up on children who had been rehabilitated earlier – I guess there’s a lot that can be done here.
– finding out and filling up the child’s profile information in their database.

6 Responses to “extra food and children's helpline”

  1. bellur ramakrishna Says:

    Thanks Sanju and Pranesh Sir. Very useful Project.

    Here’s more info about MAKKALA SAHAYA VANI (MSV):

    An initiative of the Bangalore City Police to attend to the problems of children, was established in the premises of the office of the Commissioner of Police on 30th December 1997. This is a helpline for children with a toll free telephone No.1098.

    The primary objective of the Makkala Sahaya Vani is to respond to the immediate needs of any child in crisis. The other objectives are providing shelter, medical care, legal-aid, counselling and protecting children and helping them to realise their rights.

    Makkala Sahaya Vani has received active support from various organisations, individuals, corporate sectors, institutions and community groups.

    MSV is manned by trained women police constables and volunteers.

    In addition to the activity of helping children Makkala Sahaya Vani in collaboration with the UNICEF has organised several training courses to officers and men of City Police to sensitize them to the rights and problems of children.

    Bangalore City Police has the unique distinction of being the first force in the country to have established an exclusive helpline for children.

    Makkala Sahaya Vani responds to calls ranging from:-

    Counselling for emotional problems

    On harassment, exploitation and sexual abuse

    Shelter for lost / missing children and to re-unite them with families

    Legal & Medical services

    Calls from public and parents of children who are mentally and physically handicapped

    Children denied of their earnings

    Children who just want to speak to MSVs

  2. praneshachar Says:

    Sanjay and Bellur
    I am amazed at the reaction of you. great simply great!!!
    I never thought when I forwarded the above one this will be the outcome. I have no words to express my pleasure about the treasure of information. That why I call this blog group elite one really true
    I am indeed happy very very happy
    keep the good work going on and on………

  3. msanjay Says:

    Oh Praneshavare hopefully these ideas should materialise into more useful substantial things over time! Well atleast thanks for the info to start with.

  4. leela sastry Says:

    WE have got two mango trees at home . This year I got a bumper crop . I got some body to pluck them . I can’t bring them to your place . If you can send somebody to collect them , I am too happy to give them to the children . I am not doing this as a charity but I would be too happy if the children eat them and relish them . Please do this favour to me . I am a senior citizen , I don’t know driving ,I can’t come by auto , I can’t depend on the public transport . I am here with giving my NEIGHBOUR’S cell phone number , whom you can contact and take down the other particulars . rgds leelasastry

  5. leela sastry Says:

    Hello ,
    we have got coconut tree also and got some coconuts also wich I want to give for the use of children . please arrange somebody to collect the same .

  6. Chandrashekar Says:

    To day 20th Dec 2015 at 1.30 pm ,I called to 1098 to donate the extra food left over in our home function sufficient for 25 members . But the told that there is no such programme of collecting or receiving excess left over food.
    I request the concern to give information to the public properly.

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