Nearly 9,346 children were abandoned and orphaned due to the pandemic, according to the data received by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) by the states.
According to the NCPCR's affidavit, a total of 1,742 children became orphans while 140 were abandoned due to Covid; 7,464 children lost a parent between March 2020 and May 2021, with a total of 9,346 affected by the pandemic. Around 25 states and five union territories uploaded the data, reported Hindustan Times.
On Monday, June 1, the commission submitted the affidavit to the Supreme Court in a pending sou motu case. The amicus curiae had filed the case highlighting the challenges being faced by children who were orphaned due to the virus.
The Court was hearing the state and the Union Territory administrations in the petition and found the differences in the data provided on the NCPCR website 'Bal Swaraj'.
The Maharashtra government informed that 140 children became orphans due to the pandemic, while 4,451 children lost a parent since March 2020. However, the NCPCR affidavit stated that the state had 80 orphans and 716 children who lost a parent.
The government said the discrepancy was due to the technical glitches faced while uploading the data on the website. Maharashtra counsel Sachin Patil told the Court that the data entry happens in six stages, and the district child protection officers faced difficulties uploading the data to enter data as the information about many children was not available.
However, the NCPCR counsel Swarupama Chaturvedi told the Court that the information on the portal need not be complete, and the basic information about a child would be enough.
Justice L Nageswara Rao and Anirudhha Bose extended the time for the states to upload the data to June 5.
The affidavit also listed the states leading the chart, including Uttar Pradesh with 2,110 children, 1,327 in Bihar, 952 in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh with 712.
The apex court has asked state government authorities to continue uploading the data on the website till June 7 and provide the details of the children affected by COVID-19.