Number could be far higher, say NGOs; single parents have also surrendered children
As many as 28 children belonging to 21 families in the State have been orphaned as a result of COVID 19, according to data provided by the State government. Among these, 14 children were single children, while the remaining 14 have siblings.
IAS officer K.P. Mohan Raj, who is the nodal officer for orphaned children in the State, said that all the 28 children were currently staying with their close relatives, including grandparents, aunts and uncles. “All these children have to be placed before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the committee will decide where they have to be placed,” he said. The maximum number of children orphaned – four – are from Raichur district. However, many NGOs claim that the number of children who were orphaned during the pandemic is far higher than 28.
Vasudev Sharma, executive director, Child Rights Trust (CRT) said, “Their relatives and family members are probably not coming forward as they are scared that the children may be put in government-run homes.” He added that there was a need for the government to recognise children who have lost even one parent due to the pandemic.
The State government, last month, launched the ‘Mukhyamantri (Chief Minister) Bala Seva Yojana’ to provide financial assistance to children orphaned by COVID 19. There are also many children who have lost a single parent, and who have been surrenderedbefore the CWC. Nagarathna R., chairperson of CWC 3 in Bengaluru Urban, said recently, they had placed a 25-day old girl with a specialised adoption agency after the father came and surrendered her in front of the committee. “The mother had died due to COVID-19 and he said that he would be unable to take care of the baby. So we decided it would be best if they child is placed with an agency,” she said.
Source: Read Full Article