At least 42 kids orphaned in Covid pandemic since March last year, says DCPCR
At least 42 children were orphaned in Covid-19 pandemic since March last year in the national capital, and at least 5,500 children have lost one parent, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has said. Besides, at least 10 children, who were already living with single parents due to personal reasons, have been left without care, it said.
DCPCR chairperson Anurag Kundu said the commission has traced around 2,000 children in the past few weeks. Kundu said these orphans were currently staying with their relatives. “We contact the immediate relatives of these kids and check on these children. We check if they have essential supplies if they are getting required medical care and if they need counselling. We are also checking if they are enrolled in a school,” he said.
The commission is running a helpline number, +91-931155139, to help children in need. The helpline has received over 2,200 calls till now.
The ministry for women and child development had last week said that 577 children were orphaned in the pandemic across the country.
The Delhi government had earlier this month announced that it will pay for the education of any child who has lost parents in the pandemic. The government will also give a stipend of ₹2,500 per month to these children. The scheme is yet to be notified.
“Once the government notifies the scheme, we will ensure that all these children are enrolled and get the financial support they have been promised,” Kundu added.
Earlier this month, the DCPCR had urged people not to fall for the misinformation floating on social media about the adoption of orphans and advised interested families to follow the due legal process to adopt.
Government officials explained as per norms, when a child is orphaned, she/he is produced before the district child welfare committee. The committee in the interim sends the child to a children’s home and then conducts the background check. Once it’s established that the child has no caregiver, the committee registers the child on Central Adoption Resource Authority and declares the child free for adoption.