‘577 Children Orphaned Due to COVID Since 1 April’: Smriti Irani

This data, pertaining to the period between 1 April and 25 May, comes from the reports submitted by states and UTs.

2 min read
File image of Union Minister Smriti Irani.

As many as 577 children across the country have lost both their parents to COVID-19 in the last couple of months, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani has said.

This data, pertaining to the period between 1 April and 25 May, comes from the reports submitted by States and Union Territories.

Irani also stated that the government is committed to the support and protection of each child who has been orphaned due to COVID-19.

A senior official told The Indian Express that the government has allotted Rs 10 lakh per district for the non-institutional care of these orphans.

The official said that the priority is to ensure that the children be retained in their family and community structures and not removed from these familiar set-ups, adding that the aim is to not let even one child slips through the cracks.

There are sufficient funds for the welfare of the children, who are under the protection of district authorities, a source told PTI.

“The Centre is in constant touch with states and districts about these children. There is no shortage of funds for their welfare. The women and child development ministry has held meetings with all stakeholders, including the UNICEF.”
A source to PTI

A team of professionals has reportedly been arranged at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) for the counselling of the children, if needed.

The government data on orphaned children comes at a time when several states, including Delhi, Karnataka and Punjab, have instituted welfare schemes for children who have lost both their parents to the viral disease.

(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express.)

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