New Delhi: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been providing tele-counselling in Odia and several other regional languages to children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A toll-free number 1800-121-2830 is operational through which psycho-social and emotional support is provided to children through SAMVEDNA (Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance).
A network of qualified medical experts/counsellors/psychologists — trained under the guidance of Dr Shekhar Seshadri, Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and his team from NIMHANS – are providing guidance using different tele-counselling strategies.
The service is available on the above mentioned toll-free number from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm. It is exclusively for children who are willing to talk and are in need of counselling.
Tele-counselling is provided to children under following categories:
1. Children who are in quarantine/isolation/COVID Care Centres
2. Children who have COVID-positive parents or family members and near ones
3. Children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19 Pandemic.
This service, launched in September 2020, is much more relevant now as the second wave of COVID pandemic has hit India much harder and is not sparing children and adoloscents.