‘The Listener’ Who’s Always There

March 2020

The Listener, Geetha, takes one phone call after another on the Tinkle Friend hotline, encountering children who are distressed, lonely, and sometimes, simply bored. 

All day, she works through problems, some big, some small, providing advice, hope, or just her attention. But Geetha is not spared her own challenges, and struggles with getting her child to open up to her. 

Geetha, the protagonist of The Listener, produced by filmmaker Kelvin Tong, was inspired by Tinkle Friend’s longest serving volunteer, Madam Sarasa Seshadri, who joined the hotline two years after its 1984 launch, and has helped scores of children since. 

The film is part of the 15 Shorts project, a collaboration between the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre and Blue3Asia, which brought 15 Singaporean filmmakers together to produce 15 short films about volunteering.

Madam Sarasa (in red) with some members of the Student Service @ Children's Society team at the 15 Shorts Grand Finale: Stories from the City of Good. She is pictured here with (left to right) Assistant Director Leela Narayana, filmmaker Kelvin Tong, actress Vartika Khattri, Director Ann Hui Peng, and counsellor Xing Yating 

The film was well received by the Tinkle Friend team, who found it both genuine and heart-warming. 

“The Listener is a timely celebration of 35 years of Tinkle Friend, and a wonderful tribute to our Tinkle Friend volunteers, portraying the noble aspects of what they do, from the challenges they face to the sacrifices they make to keep doing what they do,” said Ms Leela Narayana, Assistant Director of Student Service @ Children’s Society.
For Ms Sarasa, the film captured the reality of both volunteers and the children they try and help: “All children need a listening ear, no matter how small or big the issue is… We can let children know that they are not alone,” she said.
Join us in celebrating the contributions of our volunteers! Catch ‘The Listener’ at

« Back


View All