COVID-19 Resources


A businessman from north-east India, Mr. Sharad Sethia, is one Good Samaritan, who has been leveraging his business to support CHILDLINE 1098 in its mission to provide emergency and outreach services to children in need. He came up with an innovative idea to mobilize funds for the helpline and to generate large scale awareness about CHILDLINE 1098 and its services, so that care and protection could be extended to more number of children in the region.

Since December 2020, Mr. Sethia started putting a graphic embedded with a donation link QR code on every water storage tank that he sold. He pledged to match the amount of donation made by the person purchasing the water tank. Once the customer scans the QR code, he/she is directed to the CHILDLINE India Foundation’s fund-raising webpage. To encourage more people to donate, Mr. Sethia matches the donation made by the customer.

Mr. Sethia is well educated and has been managing Sanmati Industries, his family business of manufacturing water storage tanks and PVC pipes since 2008. He is knowledgeable and vocal about water management and conservation issues for rural people in north-east India. He lives in a big joint family based in Tezpur, Assam since the last four generations. One of their family’s philanthropic initiatives includes rescuing, rehabilitating and adopting stray and injured animals at their residence or factory premises. Mr. Sethia’s philanthropy has been motivated and driven by his family values, which helped him in realizing and accomplishing his responsibility towards society.

Through experiential circumstances, Mr. Sethia learnt about CHILDLINE 1098 being the critical care and rehabilitation service for child protection in India. Four years ago, on a hot sunny afternoon in the market area he saw several street children begging near the traffic signal. The children appeared to be under the influence of substances and bore injury marks. One of the children was severely intoxicated and fainted on the street. Mr. Sethia noticed this and he immediately dialed 1098. To his surprise, within a span of thirty minutes, team members from CHILDLINE1098 and DCWO (District Child Welfare Officer) rescued the child and took him to the nearest Primary Health Care department for a check-up. Then the child was presented before CWC which directed that the due process for the child’s rehabilitation may be followed. After the incident, he did not see the child on the streets again.

He was impressed with the helpline’s outreach and last mile connectivity in a small town in Assam and the prompt response by active intervention unit on the ground. Mr. Sethia felt motivated to bring about a change in a child’s life and to contribute to CHILDLINE’s efforts. He made his very first donation to CHILDLINE1098 and cemented his formal association with the helpline for building better lives for children across the region.

Mr. Sethia had been looking for avenues to help children in distress since a long time. However, he is of the opinion that “In a country like India, laws direct people to assist a child in distress only through a child protection NGO.” Given this scenario, CHILDLINE 1098 became an ideal avenue for him to assist children in need for care and protection.

Couple of years ago, he once again called CHILDLINE 1098 to rescue a child begging on the streets of his home town, Tezpur, Assam. Impressed, by CHILDLINE’s efficiency, he donated for the second time. Mr. Sethia also started a fundraiser on his birthday to raise funds for CHILDLINE 1098 services.

Mr. Sethia strongly believes, “Corporate Social Responsibility should not be limited to large corporations. Even small businesses should support at least one NGO/cause and make it an integral part of their business process. Small business owners should develop a formal mechanism to support NGOs. However, it may not be easy for business owners may not be to raise funds for an NGO by leveraging technology due to several factors. In recent times, with Mobile, Facebook and Google, reaching out to people and giving for a cause has become easier.”

He further adds, “Small and medium enterprises can improve their brand value and reach by integrating a cause with their marketing strategy. Today with the help of technology, smaller businesses can match multinationals in terms of branding initiatives.”

Apart from supporting CHILDLINE 1098 in every possible manner, Mr. Sethia also encourages his family and friends to raise funds. Many of them have readily obliged and created their own fundraiser pages to support CHILDLINE’s initiatives.

We truly appreciate the champion of CHILDLINE 1098, Mr. Sharad Sethia for his efforts to raise funds as well as encouraging others to support our mission. The generosity of such good Samaritans will help us serve more children in need of care and protection. To contribute to Mr. Sethia’s fundraiser and support our mission Ten on Tank Fundraiser

4 June 2021

Next blog