Rashmi Rekha Das

For emergency services in India, 108 is a free telephone number. Currently operational in 18 states and two Union Territories, 108 is specifically meant for providing integrated medical, police and fire emergency services.  

Of late, 108 Call Centre employees have been getting fake calls and thus finding difficulties in discharging their duty.

In order to provide round-the-clock services to people in their difficult times, 108 emergency number was launched.  Meanwhile, 108 call centre has failed to live up to the expectation of people due to hoax calls. 

The toll free 108 number gets as many as 10,000 calls per day of which 700 calls are fake. 

According to female tele callers, they have been getting nuisance calls from some particular numbers every day repeatedly. The callers have taken the 108 Call Centre for granted. They don’t have emergency and don’t have any health issues too. They just call to disturb female employees working here. 

“Some people are just using the number for their personal amusement,” said a woman tele caller.

Despite complaining to police, police are yet to take the matter seriously and act tough against the unscrupulous elements of society, alleged tele callers.

Crossing their lines, the anti-socials are allegedly ringing 108 Call Centre without any reason. They never mind raising objectionable issues while talking, especially to female employees of 108 Call Centre.  

Besides, they don’t mind making call to the Centre in inebriated condition. Also, people play prank by lying and calling 108 ambulance to their place.

It is pertinent to mention that 108 ambulance service completed 9 years of its commencement on November 10. As many as 1124 ambulances are currently being operated in the state.

Sabysachi Biswal, Project Head of 108 Call Centre, said, “Some unsocial youths have been making calls to 108 Call Centre and talking absolutely nonsense which is not related to health at all. In the process, they keep this phone line engaged. Sometimes, they even make fake call to 108 number asking for ambulance service and when the ambulance reaches that particular destination to take the ailing person to hospital, it has to return empty handed in the absence of any ill person there.”

He further added: “I would like to urge those anti-social elements to refrain from such activities. Also, complaints of children calling to 102 and keeping the phone line engaged are pouring in. Parents mostly give phones to their wards to keep them busy. In this way, the objective behind launching the emergency number is failed. This emergency service number should not be misused.”

Reported by Alok Mohanty,OTV