Over 1.47 Lakh Children Orphaned Since COVID-19 Outbreak In April 2020: NCPCR Report

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Over 1.47 Lakh Children Orphaned Since COVID-19 Outbreak In April 2020: NCPCR Report

The pandemic has badly affected people worldwide, and both children and adults have gone through the tough times induced by COVID-19. Currently, when the nation is dealing with the third wave, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has come up with the data of orphaned children due to COVID-19 and other reasons.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) gave the information to Supreme Court about the number of children orphaned due to the COVID-19. The number of orphaned children has been 1,47,492 since April 1, 2020. These children have lost their mother or father or both parents due to the pandemic and other reasons.

What Does NCPCR Data Say?

According to the Commission, their figures are based on the data uploaded on 'Baal Swaraj Portal-COVID Care' by the states and Union Territories. The uploaded data consists of children who lost either one of their parents or both due to the pandemic.

According to the data, 10,094 children are orphans who need care and protection; 1,36,910 children lost either parent, and 488 children were abandoned. Out of these, 76,508 are boys, 70,980 are girls, and four are transgender.

Regarding the age group, 59,010 children belong to 8-13 years; 22,763 belong to 14-15 years. The number of children aged 16-18 years is 22,626, and 26,080 are 4-7 years.

Presently, 1,25,205 children stay with their single parents and 11,272 children with their family members, and 8,450 children stay with their guardians.

If we talk about children's living areas, 1,529 kids live in children's homes and 19 in open shelter homes. 188 live in orphanages, 66 in special adoption agencies, 39 in hostels and two in observation homes, reported Economic Times.

Worst Affected States

Odisha had the maximum number of children who lost either one or both the parents to COVID and other reasons. The number reaches 24,405, followed by Maharashtra with 19,623 and then Gujarat with 14,770.

Government Initiatives For Orphans

Various steps were taken to ensure the protection of orphans by the Government of India. Last year, the government had announced support for orphaned children, and these children were supported under PM-CARES for Children Scheme. According to the press release by PIB, the eligible children enrolled from May 29, 2021, to December 31, 2021, would avail of the benefits of the PM CARES for Children Scheme. The scheme is envisaged to continue till the year every identified beneficiary shall turn 23 years of age.

Benefits Of The Scheme

Children who lost their parents would get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a Rs. 10 lakh fund when they turn 23 from PM CARES. Children would be ensured free education and assisted in procuring education loans for higher studies, and PM CARES would pay interest on the loan. Children would also receive free health insurance of Rs. 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat till 18 years, and the premium would be paid by PM CARES. The other entitlements under the scheme included support for Boarding and Lodging, Financial Support and Assistance for Pre-school and School Education as well.

Children are the future of the nation. We must take care of them and ensure that every child gets what they deserve even if their parents are not there to provide them with the best.

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Writer : Anwesha Singh
Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
Creatives : Shiva Chaudhary

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