As data from different states are being collated to track children who were orphaned or lost one of the parents after Covid-19 hit the country last year, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there are over 30,000 children who need care and protection in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Filing an affidavit in the apex court, the Commission said Covid had left 3,632 children orphaned while 26,176 lost one parent between April 1 last year and June 5 this year. The NCPCR also clarified that it compiled the data as per the information uploaded by state governments on its portal and it also contains those cases where parents may have died due to non-Covid diseases. It said the figure is likely to increase as many states have not collected all information on such children, particularly in rural areas, and some of the states like Delhi and West Bengal have so far not initiated the exercise.
The affidavit, filed by advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi, said around 274 children were abandoned in the last one year and majority of the affected children (around 20,000 out of 30,000) belonged to the 0-13 age group.
Responding to the court’s query on how it intends to provide support and financial assistance to children who lost their parents to Covid as announced by the government, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the bench that consultation were on with all stakeholders, including state governments, to work out modalities and sought more time to chalk out the plan.