The Ministry of Women and Child Development revealed that 577 children orphaned due to the second wave of the pandemic in the past 55 days.
According to senior officials, the Ministry began investigating the issue of COVID orphans after messages for adopting them started flooding social media. An official said, “We have been in touch with all states and asked them to identify COVID orphans from their districts.”
“We have ascertained, from the data received, that there are currently 577 of them… Delhi, for instance, has one COVID orphan in this period.” Though the official did not reveal a state-wise breakup of how many children belong to every state.
A senior official further told a leading daily that they have allotted Rs 10 lakh per district for the non-institutional care of the orphans, which will be distributed by District Magistrates under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme.
The officials said that their aim is that not even one child slips through the cracks. Further, the senior official also made their priorities clear that the children must be retained in their family and community structures and not plucked from these set-ups.
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani took to Twitter and wrote, “committed to support and protect every vulnerable child due to loss of both parents to Covid-19.”
How are the states working towards the welfare of COVID orphans?
Taking a step towards the betterment of the orphaned children, the Women and Child Development Minister Of Maharashtra Yashomati Thakur said that the children becoming orphans due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a social problem.
She further added that the state government is, hence, setting up a task force to ensure that these children are nurtured, protected and educated.
Apart from Maharashtra, the states like Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have announced welfare schemes for children orphaned due to COVID-19. Further, Delhi, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have issued free education for these children apart from financial assistance.
Pic credit: The Hindu
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