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Government Gazette

Child Helpline, a timely service

Child exploitation went up in an alarming rate during the recent past and it caused a negative impact on the Lankan child community.

The newly introduced Child Helpline will be a timely and ideal solution to cut down child exploitation, Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena.

Addressing the gathering after launching the new Child Helpline (1929) Jayasena said when the Ministry seek funding from some NGOs to launch this service they wanted to put certain conditions.

The Minister thanked Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and other private fixed line and mobile networks for coming forward to assist the Ministry to launch this service.

It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who established a separate Ministry for children and women. Mother and child are attached to each other from the beginning and therefore setting up a special ministry for them is ideal. Adequate funds were allocated for the work of the ministry, she pointed out.

Ministry Secretary Mrs.Indrani Sugathadasa said that it was former Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Prof. Harendra De Silva who made the project proposal for this Child Helpline about five years ago but he could not put it into practice due to various reasons including lack of funds.

It is an honour for the Ministry to launch this service as a state institution, she added.

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Representative Lal Ranjith said that the SLT will extend its fullest support towards this service and also willing to assist the Ministry through providing publicity to the service on request.

Minister Jayasena also launched Child Development Fund and handed over some scholarships to needy schoolchildren selected from all parts of the country who represent all ethnicities.

Under this scholarship scheme each child will receive a monthly scholarship worth between Rs.250 and Rs.1000. The children can withdraw money from their pass books through Post Offices.

The Ministry will monitor the child educational progress through an officer attached to the relevant Divisional Secretariats and the principals of the relevant schools.

Chairman, NCPA, Jagath Wellawatta, Director General, Probation and Child Care Services Department, Sarath Abeygunawardena, representatives from left, SLT and several others were present.

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