577 Children Orphaned In India Due To COVID-19 Second Wave, Committed To ‘Support And Protect’ Says Govt

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With the surging number of deaths due to COVID-19, reports of hundreds of children being orphaned by the pandemic continue to pour in from all quarters. As per government sources, over 500 children lost their parents due to the second wave of the pandemic.

Citing reports of states and Union Territories, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani informed on Twitter, as many as 577 children across India were orphaned after their parents died due to the coronavirus disease from April 1 till Tuesday.

“GOI is committed to support and protect every vulnerable child due to loss of both parents to Covid-19,” Irani tweeted.

India has crossed the death toll of 3 lakhs and is now the third country to register the highest number of COVID-19 deaths after the United States and Brazil.

Centre has compiled data that it received through state governments and administrations of union territories.

According to sources, these children are currently living with their closest relative or other family members.

The central government is constantly monitoring all these orphaned children in coordination with the state governments.

For the care and well-being of such orphaned children, Rs 10 lakh has been released to each district across the country, through the Non-Institutional Child Care Fund.

In this backdrop, many states have come forward to support these children in distress. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, and Gujarat have announced free education and financial aid to the children who have lost their parents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Andhra Pradesh government has decided to rehabilitate children who either lost their parents due to COVID them in Child Protection Centres while Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced special scholarship by the government for such children.

The government has also appealed to the common people not to spread information about any orphaned child unless there is evidence. Also, any child who has lost his / her parents should be informed about the district administration as soon as possible so that he/she can be given timely help.

On May 4, Irani had urged citizens to report instances of children found to be orphaned by Covid-19 to either the helpline 1098 or child welfare committees or the local police. “It is illegal to give or take orphan children of anyone else in adoption,” she warned.

(With ANI Inputs)

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