8th Jun 2021 10:06:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the country, destroying lives and livelihoods and calculating the quantum of loss will take time. Among a few that have just arrived, the one made by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and submitted in form of an affidavit to the Supreme Court on Monday will bring deep pain. Starting April 1, 2020 and ending June 5, 2021, around 30000+ children in India have either been orphaned, lost a parent or abandoned, the chief reason of which was the pandemic. Amid the despair, PM-CARES for Children scheme has been announced for addressing the woes of these children and Arunachal Pradesh government’s CM Bal Seva Scheme (CMBSS) has also been launched with the same intention. It’s essential that these welfare schemes are implemented in letter and spirit and as early as possible since the crisis is humanitarian, comparable only with the aftermath of a major war.

The affidavit submitted by the NCPCR said that during the above period, 26,176 children have lost a parent, 3,621 have been orphaned and 274 have been abandoned, making the total 30,071. Although the Commission added that the deaths of parents were not due to the pandemic alone and there could be other reasons as well, it will not be a wild presumption that majority of cases were due to the unprecedented health disaster since independence. The state-wise figures will corroborate it. Maharashtra has topped the list and as many as 7,084 of its children have been affected, either orphaned, abandoned or have lost a parent, followed by Uttar Pradesh (3,172), Rajasthan (2,482), Haryana (2,438), Madhya Pradesh (2,243), Andhra Pradesh (2,089), Kerala (2,002), Bihar (1,634) and Odisha (1,073). It needs to be noted that all these states have been severely affected by the pandemic. And with the pandemic still taking lives, even if in lesser numbers than it was a month ago, it’s certain that many more children will join the list. In this regard the apex court has raised a number of relevant points. It has underlined the urgent need for timely uploading of data on the concerned official websites of states, without which identification process of these children in dire need of care and protection and their real-time tracking will be impossible along with steps for protecting their property rights. The Commission has also conveyed its concern over a huge number of complaints it received about illegal adoption of children orphaned amid the pandemic through private individuals/organizations that grossly violate the Juvenile Justice Act.

The situation is critical and needs careful handling. All agencies, government and non-governmental must work in tandem. Pulling out these children from the sea of misfortune is the moral responsibility of all.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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