Press Releases

07
August 2008

Meri Helpline emergency phone service for children launched Telenor Pakistan and IHDF build on partnership for a social cause

Karachi, Aug 07, 2008: The launch of the Meri Helpline? emergency phone service today in Karachi brings the promise to help Karachis street children. Telenor Pakistan and the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF) have joined hands to launch the first of its kind emergency phone service where children in distress can call and seek expert help.

Minister for Social Welfare Government of Sindh Nargis N. D. Khan launched Meri Helpline? emergency service at a ceremony. Acting CEO Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan and President IHDF Asif Habib also addressed the select gathering. Telenor employees, partner organizations and NGOs officials attended the ceremony.

The Meri Helpline? is established to provide assistance to all street children who may need help in case they are injured, sick, exploited, abused, in danger, or lonely. They may be homeless children, or street children with families. Parents will also be able to call, seeking help in search of a missing child.

Minister for Social Welfare Government of Sindh Nargis N. D. Khan who was the Chief Guest said: It is indeed heartening to see Telenor a good corporate citizen to reach out and join hands with IHDF for the betterment of society. Children, apart from women, form a very vulnerable part of the society and need the protection. Lets hope and pray that this partnership brings relief to as many children as possible, she added.

Commenting on the launch, Acting CEO Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan said: Telenor Pakistans Corporate Responsibility initiatives revolve around innovatively using telecommunication expertise and infrastructure for social causes.? This is the reason, he explained we have joined hands with the IHDF. We believe in using our telecommunication expertise to bridge the gap between those who need help and those who can give it. The Meri Helpline? project is Telenor Pakistans way of reaching out to the street children of Karachi, and showing that we, at Telenor Pakistan, care,? Mr. Khan observed.

The Meri Helpline? service will allow any child in crisis to dial 0346-2669911 and speak with IHDF staff especially hired and trained to deal with any emergencies. A number of shopkeepers have been taken onboard by IHDF to provide free of cost calling facility to the children who may be in distress.

Rana Asif Habib, President IHDF said he was elated with the development of the new program to reach out to and help the underprivileged children of Karachi. The IHDF is focused on helping as many children as possible, especially those in great need. The new emergency helpline allows us to do exactly that. They now have somewhere to turn to and talk to someone who is willing to help them wherever they are in Karachi.

He thanked Telenor Pakistan for helping IHDF in fulfilling its aim to bring the benefit of telecommunications to the most disadvantaged segments of society.

Children would get the required information, advice and the comfort that there is somebody to listen to them. But in more acute instances IHDF will send out its mobile van. In these cases basic medical care may be provided by trained staff of IHDF. If the child has been abandoned or has run away from home Meri Helpline personnel will attempt to locate the family of the child and unite them. Occasionally, a child may be referred to concerned IHDF partner organizations.

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