A post claiming that users can reach out to Childline number 1098 and donate food items left after any function or party to be distributed among needy children at pan India level is going viral on social media platforms. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
‘1098’ is a childline emergency phone service that provides assistance to children in distress. Several Facebook users shared the viral post believing it to be true.
Newschecker also received multiple such claims on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044) requesting to be fact checked.
Childline 1098 is an emergency phone service for children who are in need of help and assistance. Monitored and managed by CHILDLINE India Foundation, a nodal agency of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, the service is operational 24-hours a day for the entire year. They envisage for “a child-friendly nation that guarantees the rights and protection of all children.”
To verify the veracity of the claim that Childline 1098 collects and distributes leftovers to needy children, we carefully scanned through the official website of CIF but did not find mention of any such service undertaken by the organisation. Further, we conducted a keyword search for ‘childline 1098 food leftovers’ and found news reports from 2016, 2017 and 2018 clarifying that the viral message is a hoax. This further confirms that the fake message has been in circulation for at least the past six years.
A 2018 report by the Business Standard stated, “Childline, the nationwide emergency helpline for children, has issued a clarification that it does not collect left over food from parties after a spam mail suggesting it circulated online.”
They had issued a warning on their official website stating, “We understand there is a chain mail circulating that says – one should call up 1098 to pick up left over food after a party etc so that it is not wasted. This is not true. We are India’s only and most widespread Children’s phone emergency outreach service (1098) for children in need of care and protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail was not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it. Your cooperation is appreciated.”
The same warning was put up by Childline on their website in 2016, as per a report by The News Minute.
It is likely that the hoax message originated from an email several years back and re-emerges on social media platforms and messaging apps time and again.
In addition, we came across a tweet by the government’s PIB Fact Check, dated May 17, 2022, terming the viral message as fake. It said, “1098 is a childline emergency phone service that provides assistance to children in distress. It doesn’t pick up/distribute food to needy.”
A tweet by Regional Outreach Bureau, Uttar Pradesh also clarified that Childline 1098 does not pick up or distribute food to the needy.
Newschecker also reached out to Childline 1098 who dismissed the viral claim. Childline India Foundation Head Resource Mobilization & Communications Vikas Puthran told us over an e-mail, dated May 17, 2022, “Not true. We don’t take leftover food and distribute it. We are an emergency helpline for children in distress.”
Viral claim that Childline 1098 provides facilities of collecting leftover food items from a function and party to distribute them among needy children is false. It is an emergency phone service for children who are in need of help and assistance.
Result: Fabricated Content/False
Business Standard Report dated July 16, 2018
The News Minute Report dated February 04, 2016
Tweet By PIB Fact Check dated May 17, 2022
Tweet by Regional Outreach Bureau, Uttar Pradesh dated May 17, 2022
Direct Contact With CIF via E-mail on May 17, 2022
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