Parisar Asha, in collaboration with Capgemini announced the launch of the ‘Positive Parenting & Child Helpline’. This initiative is aimed at providing counseling support to both parents and children who need advice and information on various social and emotional issues that they face in their day-to-day lives, such as extreme anger, emotional outbursts, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, among others. The helpline was launched at Nityanand Marg English MPS School in Mumbai by Smt. Amruta Phadnavis, Banker, Social Activist, and Wife of Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the presence of Aarati Savur, CEO of Parisar Asha and Ashwin Yardi, Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini in India, as well as key officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The new toll-free helpline will cater to parents, children and young adolescents. Every call is currently attended by a trained counselor and the case is referred to a psychiatrist if considered relevant. Parisar Asha has received 500 calls so far from Mumbai and various parts of Maharashtra during a pilot that was initiated six months ago. According to the pilot, the problems are commonly identified in four broad categories: cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral issues, but the traits of the problems overlap.
Speaking at the launch, Aarati Savur, CEO of Parisar Asha, said, “To build a strong character for tomorrow’s society, we have to provide a happy and sensible childhood to our children by educating the parents. The positive parenting and child helpline is a dream for a sustainable tomorrow where every individual is a responsible, caring, sensitive and successful citizen.”
Ashwin Yardi, Chief Operating Officer at Capgemini in India, said, “Children and young adolescents today are growing up in a far more complex world. Social disruption, coupled by digital disruption, is changing social behavior. This is turn is posing a greater challenge for parents. Capgemini has been successfully supporting education through the School Adoption Program. We are now proud to be associated with this helpline and cause to go beyond education and make a holistic investment in children today to help nurture and develop healthy citizens of tomorrow.”
The vulnerability of young children and adolescents has been seen as a rising phenomenon as socio-environmental stresses and maladaptive outcomes impact behavioral patterns and create severe emotional problems. Research from the Indian Council of Medical Research reported that 12% of children between 4-16 years of age suffer from psychiatric disorders in India1.
The ‘Positive Parenting & Child Helpline’ is a free and confidential online and telephonic service which can be availed by parents to seek help for their children. Fully supported by Capgemini, the project aims to reach out to 40,000 families through extensive workshops and awareness programs in schools. The service is available between Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students or parents in distress can call or send a sms at 18005322244 or email their queries at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.