WCD gets enquiries for over 400 kids who lost their parents to Covid, 17 lost both parents
Pune: The women and child welfare department (WCD) committee, Pune district, has received over 464 calls regarding enquiries about kids who have lost either one or both their parents to Covid-19. Of these 464, at least 17 have been confirmed to have lost both the parents to the infection. The action committee would verify the details of the child and the guardian currently taking care of the child and also confirm that the parent died to Covid.
District women and child development officer Ashwini Kamble said, “The counting is still in process as we get calls on a daily basis and the data is upgraded accordingly. The action committee, which was formed on March 20, 2019, looks into such children who have lost both parents and have members from the health department of both the civic bodies and the rural areas too and we get information regularly. In view of Covid-19, the health department also informs about kids who have lost their parents to the infection. As of now, we have had about 464 enquiries from across the district regarding kids who have lost either one or both parents. Of these we have confirmed that 17 have lost both parents, and eight of them are admitted at various government homes for orphanages and the remaining kids are still with relatives or guardians. The youngest we have is about six years old and the oldest is 17.”
Kamble said that once a kid’s information comes to the WCD, the committee visits the child’s home to inspect the child’s welfare and also the guardian’s details. She said, “We check the claim as to whether the parents die of Covid or not. We check if the guardian is able and willing to take care of the child. In addition to ensuring the child’s welfare, the committee also ensures that the child gets legal help. In case of any property which the child might be legally entitled to, the committee also helps the child get legal advice and help whenever he or she turns 18 and to ensure that the property is legally handed over to the child.”
On Wednesday, the government announced a special welfare package for such kids. Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted, “Those kids who have lost both their parents to Covid19, for such kids the state government has announced a special fixed deposit package of ₹5 lakh until they turn 18 and also the child would be eligible to get benefits under the state government child welfare schemes until the child becomes an adult. This decision has been approved at the cabinet meet on Wednesday.”
As of Tuesday, Pune district has reported a total of over 10.18 lakh Covid cases, and progressive cases up to 1.018 million cases of which 0.975 million have recovered, 12,630 have been declared dead due to Covid and remaining are active cases. Of these deaths, 4,060 are from Pune rural, 6,784 from Pune city and PCMC are from 1,725.