The TARSHI Helpline has been re-launched in a new avatar with effect from June 1 2010! Callers can now get information through an IVRS (Interactive
Voice Response System) on a range of topics related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV, contraceptive choices, sexual and gender identities,
violence, safety and pleasure.
The TARSHI helpline ran successfully and without a break from 1996 to 2009, providing information, counselling and referrals on sexuality, sexual and
reproductive health related concerns for over 13 years.
In addition to the
Infoline, here are
other resources you can use:
- Look up our FAQs section, you may
well find your answers there
- Look up the list of other Helplines in the
- Look up other web
provide a range of information that may answer your questions
At TARSHI we deal with issues of sexuality. We are not judgmental or
moralistic about people's sexual choices. Our counsellors used to be
compassionate and professional and people found it easy to talk with
them openly about their concerns.
Before the counsellors began taking calls on the helpline, the counsellors
were trained intensively. The helpline was directed by a qualified
clinical psychologist and we had professionals from fields related to sexual and
reproductive health on our referral panel.
We started the TARSHI telephone helpline on 14th February 1996, in New
Delhi, India. We have responded to nearly 60,000 phone calls from people
of different genders. The people who called us were between the ages of 10
and 70+ years and came from different backgrounds. People from all walks
of life called us -they could be highly
qualified or may have dropped out of school, may be young, old, single,
much married, straight, gay or multiply oriented, have special needs
because of a disability. Whoever they were, if there was something they wanted
to know or discuss about sexuality, they could call us.
We especially encouraged women of all ages to call.
The TARSHI Helpline provided information, counselling and referrals on a
range of sexual and reproductive health issues. All calls received on the helpline were documented meticulously in order to provide
a high quality of service to callers. Documenting calls was of prime
importance for continuity in counselling callers and offering good
quality helpline service. Documenting calls also provides data for
research and analysis on how sexuality is played out in diverse
circumstances of peoplesí lives and on the reproductive health concerns
of diverse populations. The information feeds and guides the programmes
that TARSHI is engaged in. The TARSHI helpline was recognised by the
UNAIDS as one of four helplines internationally in the Best Practice
Over the years TARSHI has been involved in bringing together individuals
and organisations using the helpline methodology in their work in order
to share ideas and information on a regular basis and discuss strategies
to work more effectively. In 1998-99, TARSHI conducted a series of
monthly meetings with several helplines in New Delhi for a period of six
months. Regular bi-monthly meetings of Helplines have been conducted
regularly from 2003 to 2006 that were organized by TARSHI and hosted by
different Helplines. TARSHI has also hosted three National level meetings of Helpline Organisations in 2003
(while Childline India Foundation hosted one in 2004) 2005 and 2008 respectively.
The TARSHI helpline was chosen as one of four sites for the research
study on Assessing the conditions and quality of counselling related to
sexuality and sexual health in Uganda, Kenya, Brazil and India, being
conducted by The Royal Tropical Institute, the Netherlands, in
collaboration with the WHO. Click here to see the report of this study