Thousands of children have been affected due to the coronavirus epidemic in the country. In such a situation, the crisis of their proper care has arisen.
Given this, the Central Government has fixed the responsibilities of District Collectors, Superintendents of Police, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Bodies of all the states while issuing guidelines for the care and safety of the affected children.
It clearly states that there should be no reduction in the care of the children affected by the epidemic.
More than 1,700 children were orphaned due to the corona pandemic – NCPCR.
According to the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Tuesday, the corona epidemic has affected a total of 9,346 children in the country from March 2020 to May 29, 2021. Of these, 1,742 lost both their parents, while 7,464 children lost either parent. Similarly, 140 children were abandoned by the parents. This is a grave matter.
Ministry of Women and Child Development wrote a letter to all the states.
Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, has written a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and union territories regarding the matter.
In this, the primary responsibilities of the officers responsible for simplifying and facilitating the action being taken for the care and protection of the children affected by the epidemic have been fixed.
He has asked all the Chief Secretaries to prioritise all the interests of the children affected during the pandemic.
Instructions for surveying to identify the affected children
Secretary Mishra has directed the states to survey to identify the affected children and prepare a database of all the children with the details of their requirements while preparing the profile. Apart from this, the data has also been asked to be uploaded on the child portal. Similarly, the hospitals have been directed to enter the contact details of the acquaintances of the patients in the admission form itself for contact under any circumstances.
Instructions to temporarily hand over the children of sick parents to child care institutions
Secretary Mishra has temporarily handed over all those children to Child Care Institutions (CCIs), whose parents are ill due to corona infection. There is no relative present to take care of them.
Similarly, for the care of corona infected children, CCI has been asked to prepare a roster of child psychologists or counsellors to make arrangements for isolation and interaction with the children.
Instructions were given to form a task force at the district level.
Secretary Mishra has also directed all the states to form a district-level task force to prepare a list of needs of the children by the district collector, monitor the progress and provide all facilities to the affected children. Apart from this, civil society organisations have also been asked to compulsorily inform the child welfare committee or district child protection unit about the affected children.
Police vigilance necessary to stop child trafficking
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has directed the district police to take vigilance work to prevent child trafficking, illegal tattooing, child marriage, child labour or any other type of abuse.
Similarly, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies have also been asked to establish child protection committees at the Panchayat level to obtain information about the affected children and make arrangements for free education to orphan children.