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Yatin commented on Universal Emergency Number - UPDATED

Rashmi, this idea of Universal Emergency Number is very similar to the idea of ChildLine - a tele-helpline for children in India that has been running very successfully.

In 1996, Jeroo Billmoria (a social entrepreneur) from India launched CHILDLINE (Dial 1098 Ten-Nine-Eight), India's first toll-free tele-helpline for street children in distress. As of March 2011, total of 21 Million calls since inception have been serviced by CHILDLINE service and operates in 172 cities/districts in 30 States and UTs through its network of 415 partner organisations across India.

And yes, this model is scalable across geographies and cultures too. After Childline's success, Jeroo went further and founded Child Helpline International ( - an initiative that runs similar children helplines in more than 150 countries across the world and responds to 14-18 million calls annually.

To learn more about ChildLine, I would suggest you to go through these resources:

1) Video - An Introduction to ChildLine India

2) Book - How Childline 1098 started and how it works (Pages 8 to 24)

3) Jeroo Billimoria's talk at TEDx Hamburg

Some more facts:
- ChildLine started as an independent initiative, but eventually government started supporting and funding the Childline and other nonprofits who provide support to the children.

- Childline partners with several allies and NGOs to help provide support to children in far off locations.

- Depending on the urgency of the situation, after a child calls, a local representative reaches the child within 60 minutes to 1 week from the time the call was made to the helpline.