791 women widowed by Covid, DCW seeks rehabilitation for them
New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Monday said that it has identified 791 women who lost their husbands to the coronavirus pandemic in the national capital, adding that it has submitted a report to the social welfare department for their rehabilitation. The DCW said that it was in the process of identifying more widows.
In a letter addressed to Madhu K Garg, secretary, Department of WCD and Social Welfare, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said of the 791 identified women, 774 (97.85%) have children, out of which 384 have one or two children and nearly 360 have 3-5 children. Thirty widows have more than five children, the DWC stated in its letter.
The survey showed that 734 women fall in the age group of 18-60 years and the rest are senior citizens. As many as 721 women are homemakers while the rest are employed as domestic workers, labourers, small business owners, and private and government employees, the survey found.
According to the findings, 28.57% widows have no income source and are dependent on their husbands financially while 60.93% of women’s family income at present is ₹15,000 or less every month.
“The past few months have been very difficult for humanity, especially India which was ravaged by the third wave of the Covid pandemic. The entire country came in the grip of the disease and several thousands died. In Delhi too, hundreds of women were widowed, and several children became orphans,” said the letter, adding that the DCW had carried out a survey through its mahila panchayat program.
Maliwal asked the department to ensure that the women -- 597 widows had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 till the survey was carried out.-- are inoculated on priority and also requested the Women and Child Development Department to ensure that schemes such as Mukhyamantri Covid-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana, a social security scheme for families affected by the pandemic, reaches the affected women.
“Our mahila panchayat teams have traversed every nook and corner of Delhi to identify 791 women who became widows during the Covid pandemic. We have done a social survey of all these women. Most of the women do not have a source of income, or are extremely poor. A detailed report has been submitted to the government,” Maliwal tweeted on Monday.