CHILDLINE stands for a friendly ‘didi’ or a sympathetic ‘bhaiya’ who is always there for vulnerable children24 hours of the day, 365 days of the year.childline

A phone number that spells hope for millions of children across India, CHILDLINE is India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance.

CHILDLINE was founded by Ms. Jeroo Billimoria, who was then a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai. Initiated in June 1996 as an experimental project of the department of Family and Child Welfare of TISS, the national toll-free number 1098 was inaugurated on 20th of June 1996. CHILDLINE has come a long way today, to becoming a nationwide emergency helpline for children in distress.

The number is publicized as  dus-nau-aath (ten-nine-eight) instead of calling it one-zero-nine-eight.

Whether you are a concerned adult or a child, you can dial 1098, the toll free number to access the services. CHILDLINE not only responds to the emergency needs of children but also link them to services for their long-term care and rehabilitation. CHILDLINE has to date, reached out to over three million children across the nation through such calls.

CHILDLINE is a platform bringing together the Ministry for Women & Child Development, Government of India, Department of Telecommunications, street and community youth, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, the corporate sector and concerned individuals.





The CHILDLINE team receives & responds to the calls

Crisis Intervention

Direct assistance: medical, shelter, protection from abuse, repatriation, death, missing children, intensive counselling

On phone: Emotional support and guidance, information and referral to services for the caller, information about CHILDLINE, silent calls

Long-term rehabilitation

After the emergency needs of the child have been addressed, CHILDLINE explores options with the child to study, learn a trade, go back home etc. Based on the decision of the child, CHILDLINE links the child to an appropriate organisation in the city.

The country’s first toll-free tele-helpline for street children has grown into a national child protection service that operates in over 255 cities and towns in India.


Head Office:

CHILDLINE India Foundation

Nana Chowk Municipal School, 2nd Floor,

Frere Bridge – Low Level,

Nana Chowk,

Near Grant Road Station,

Mumbai 400007.

Contact numbers: 022 2388 1098/ 2384 1098