Directors are forced to pay from their own pockets.
Pune: Majority of the 789 childlines in the country, which are being run by several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), have not yet received grants from the government for the current and last financial year.
The childlines play a significant role in providing immediate help to the aggrieved children trapped in the cases of physical or sexual abuse, beggary or trafficking. These NGOs are also responsible for successfully tracking the missing children and repatriating them back home.
But due to unavailability of funds, they are now facing an uphill challenge of running their day-to-day activities from their own pocket or by borrowing money from good Samaritans or diverting funds from other projects meant for child welfare activities.
It is understood that Central government’s Women and Child Development Department distributes a grant to Childline Foundation of India (CFI), which is then distributed to childlines run by NGOs.
Dr Anjaiah Pandiri, Executive Director of CFI, told Sakal Times that due to lack of funds, only a few NGOs have not yet received grants.
He further said that others did not receive the grant due to their inability in completing necessary paperwork. Pandiri told Sakal Times that the money will be released shortly.
Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe, Dnyandevi Childline Director, confirmed that due to shortage of funds, she is finding it difficult to arrange money for the salaries of her team members, who already are underpaid.
Sahasrabuddhe added that the organisation cannot turn its back on aggrieved children needing help citing lack of funds and added that she is forced to divert money from other projects to carry out Childline’s work.
Similarly, Nakul Parsekar, Director of Childline Sindhudurg, shared that his organisation too has not received a grant from last one and half years. Parsekar said that he does not know where the money would come from to pay the staff members.
Parsekar added that he is awaiting funds even after completing all the necessary paperwork well in time.
HP Deshmukh, Director of Childline in Beed, said that he has not received a grant for past three years. Deshmukh too said that with the non-availability of funds, he is forced to pay from his own pocket to provide food and medication for the rescued children.
On the other hand, Childlines from Madhya Pradesh are luckier than their counterparts in Maharashtra.
Archana Sahay, Director of Childline in Bhopal, said that she received a grant in April this year.
Sahay admitted that there was a delay in distribution of grant but added that it was well informed to all Childlines in the country that there were some issues in the distribution of grant from Women and Child Development Ministry.
Shortage of funds
Dnyandevi Childline successfully handled 569 rescue cases in last one year, which includes 116 cases of physical abuse and around 59 cases of sexual abuse apart from 47 cases pertaining to abuse of children in institution. However, the NGO has not received a grant since April last year.