The second wave of the Co-vid Pandemic has created a reckless havoc across the country as many have lost their loved ones during this crisis. The trauma however is immeasurable for a child who has lost both his parents during the pandemic therefore it is pertinent to discuss as to what protections and schemes have been enunciated by the respective governments across the country for such children and moreover how can we support the government to implement the policies in an effective manner so that no stone is left unturned and all the children who had been the victims of this crisis could have a better future.
As per the latest info, provided by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, as many as 577 children have been identified as an orphan however we may be well acquainted with the fact that these numbers are improper indication of the ground reality as many children across the country would have had lost their parents. Nevertheless to tackle the same, the Union Ministry has set up the childline 1098 to which a person can give information regarding a child who has lost his/her parents due to Co-vid pandemic and there is no one to take care. Further the Union Ministry has been engaged with all the states in taking weekly reports with the support of other agencies. The government has also decided to allocate a fund of 10 Lakh per district under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the Women and Child Development ministry for the welfare of these children. This has been the status as provided by the Union Ministry but in our Federal State it is essential for the State to take up the task of welfare of the such children in their hands then only there could be a proper implementation of the Union Govt. policies and the State governments have not at all failed to do so. Since the past few weeks, State governments, across the country, have released a slew of guidelines and policies to protect the social, educational and economic welfare of a child who has lost both parents in this crisis.
In particular, the Uttar Pradesh State government has said that such children are an asset to the state and the government will take care of them and will look after their health, education and security consequent to which the Chief Minister has instructed the Department of Women and Child Development to prepare a comprehensive work plan for the children. The Department, in turn, has asked for a list of such children from the District Magistrates. The State Child Protection Society under Section 6 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, has been tasked with establishing shelters for the rehabilitation of children. The additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said that Our Chief Minister has issued directions for the formation of a task force in each district to identify and adopt such children, so far, identified 60 children across the state who have lost both parents to the pandemic have been taken into regard and many more are being identified.
The NCT of Delhi government has also announced that children who have lost both their parents to Covid-19 will get an aid of Rs. 2500 per month till they turn 25 years old, and expenses for their education will be borne by the Delhi Government.
Several other governments have announced similar and other policies for the welfare of the children affected in their State. Thus this has been the case with our government now the question worth consideration is that what can we, as a layman do, to protect the welfare the children who are affected by this crisis. As if we don’t step up to this then many children could become the victim of child trafficking and abuse Thus what a person can do if he is acquainted with any of such child he may approach or contact the office of either the State Children and Women Development ministry or the office of District Magistrate and may give the necessary information so that the appropriate authorities could hold further action in regard to same. Morally, a relative of such child who is financially capable to ensure benefits to such child could provide financial and educational guidance till the child becomes capable to earn his bread. These are some of the options, there may be several other appropriate opinions which may benefit a child and they may be implemented accordingly. What is important is not just to sit quietly but to do a bit which might have a positive impact on such child’s life.
However the best option for a person is that if he doesn’t have any child and is willing to adopt a child he may do so now as it is the right time because the child who has lost his/her parents needs proper nurture in respect of emotional and mental support. The general public must also has to keep in mind that they should refrain from spreading there opinion as to adopting a child on any social media platform as the government is taking cognizance on the fake messages, rather what can be done is that the parents who are willing to adopt an orphan child may approach Central Adoption Resource Authority for “Lawful adoptions” and if the Fundamental principles governing adoption that is the Best Interest of the child which is regarded as the paramount consideration is satisfied the parents could adopt a child after all the necessary documentation provided in CARA’s guideline for legal adoption.