COVID Orphaned 1,742 Children, 7,464 Lost a Parent: NCPCR to SC
The maximum number of orphaned & abandoned children were seen in Madhya Pradesh where 318 children were orphaned.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 1 June, informing the apex court about the children who have been orphaned, lost one parent due to COVID, or abandoned during the pandemic.
According to the affidavit, data of 9,346 children have been uploaded on the ‘Bal Swaraj’ portal. According to the data, 1,742 children have lost both parents, 7,464 are now living in a single-parent household and 140 children have been abandoned from March 2020 till 29 May this year.
The affidavit was filed in response to a query by a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose last week while hearing a suo motu petition on the protection of children from COVID in child care homes.
Following which the web portal ‘Bal Swaraj’ was launched by the child rights body allowing each district to upload information about children who were abandoned, orphaned, or had lost one parent during the pandemic.
Moreover, the NCPCR has passed recommendations for the state governments, District Education Officers (DEO) and schools to take appropriate steps to ensure that the schooling of children is not affected as far as possible, by bearing the school fee for children from Classes 1 to 8, including for those studying in private schools.
UP Has the Highest Number of ‘Vulnerable’ Children
Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of children in a “vulnerable position” with 2,110 children in total who have been or orphaned, abandoned, or lost one parent. UP also recorded the highest number of children who have lost one parent, with 1,830 children now living in single-parent households.
Out of over 9,300 children, around 1,224 children are now living with a guardian, 985 children with a family member who is not a legal guardian, while 6,612 are living with a single parent. In addition, 31 children have been sent to the special adoption agency, India Today reported.
The maximum number of orphaned and abandoned children were seen in Madhya Pradesh where 318 children were orphaned and 104 abandoned.
Bihar has the second-highest number, with 1,327 “vulnerable” children, including 292 orphaned and 1,035 in single-parent households.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani had said last week that the government is committed to the support and protection of each child who has been orphaned due to COVID-19.
The NCPCR also informed the Supreme Court that the uploading of data is an ongoing process. The bench is scheduled to hear the case later on Tuesday.
(With inputs from India Today)
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