The Centre on Sunday asked private TV news channels to display four new national helpline numbers for the benefit of citizens as a part of the COVID-19 awareness initiative.
In a letter to all private TV news channels, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the national helpline numbers should be run as a ticker or any other appropriate way at periodic intervals.
It praised the news channels for playing an important role in supplementing the efforts of the government in fighting the coronavirus pandemic by creating awareness and informing people about Covid treatment protocol, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination.
“In order to further this cause, the private TV channels are advised to promote awareness of the following four national level helpline numbers by way of a ticker or such appropriate ways as they may consider at periodical intervals, especially during prime time,” it said.
The channels have been asked to display the National helpline number of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare -1075, child helpline number of the Ministry of Women and Child Development-1098, senior citizens helpline of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment- 14567(in Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and helpline number of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) for psychological support – 08046110007.
“As you are aware, the number of cases of COVID-19 in the country, while witnessing a downward trend, is still high. Over the last several months, the government has created awareness through various instrumentalities and media platforms, including print, TV, radio, social media, etc. for creating awareness on the three critical issues – COVID treatment protocol, COVID appropriate behaviour and vaccination,” the ministry said in its letter to private news channels.
“National helpline numbers for the benefit of the citizens were also created and propagated by the government,” it added.