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10094 Children Orphaned, 1.36 Lakh Children Lost Either Parent During COVID: NCPCR Tells Supreme Court

Shruti Kakkar
17 Jan 2022 4:33 AM GMT
10094 Children Orphaned, 1.36 Lakh Children Lost Either Parent During COVID: NCPCR Tells Supreme Court
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The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) has told the Supreme Court that as per the data uploaded on the Baal Swaraj Portal- CoVID care from April 2020 till January 11, 2022, 10094 children are orphaned, 1,36,910 children have lost either parent and 488 children are abandoned after the onset of COVID.The additional affidavit has been filed by NCPCR in compliance of...

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) has told the Supreme Court that as per the data uploaded on the Baal Swaraj Portal- CoVID care from April 2020 till January 11, 2022, 10094 children are orphaned, 1,36,910 children have lost either parent and 488 children are abandoned after the onset of COVID.

The additional affidavit has been filed by NCPCR in compliance of Top Court's directions with regards to the status of children on the basis of the data uploaded on Baal Swaraj Portal in the suo moto matter pertaining to the children in need of care and protection, who have lost their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The apex child rights body in the affidavit dated January 13, 2022 has further stated that it is taking steps at routine level to ensure that children should not be or less adversely get affected in pandemic.

"In this context NCPCR has been conducting virtual meetings with State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights ("SCPCRs") of each State/UT to know the updated status of preparedness in the event of a third wave of COVID pandemic, if at all such wave comes," the affidavit further states in this regard.

It has also been stated that NCPCR has been conducting zone-wise meetings with SCPCRs of each State/UT wherein discussions are being done to take updated status of:

A. Health Care Facilities with regards to status of :

  • NICU/PICU and SNCU in the State/UT
  • Infrastructure in Paediatric wards (Number of beds and medical equipment)
  • COVID-19 treatment protocols and management and availability of medicines
  • Stock and availability of scheduled medicines in the State/UTs Vaccination for children (15 to 18 years) in State/UT

B. Institutions for children: Schools/ Residential Educational Institutions and Child Care Institutions

If the States/ UT's have issued any guidelines for ensuring student's safety in schools/ residential educational institutions. NCPCR with regards to the institutions for children is also conducting discussions on the availability of Mid-Day Meal during school and Aanganwadi closures, incidences of CoVID positive cases in schools/ Educational Institution (Residential/ Non residential) as well as on the functioning of special training centres during school closure.

C. Child Care Institutions: Information with regards to the incidences of Covid positive cases of children staying in Child Care Institutions and measures taken by the State Governments/UT's for ensuring children's safety.

D. Children in Street Situations: In this regard NCPCR is conducting discussions with States/ UT's on the compliance of Top Court's directions for rescue and rehabilitation of children in street situations by the State Governments.

E. Baal Swaraj: Efforts for helping children who are registered on Baal Swaraj -Covid Care portal.

Although Some States/UT's Have Initiated Process Of Rescuing CISS But Very Few Have Made Efforts To Rehabilitate Them: NCPCR Tells Supreme Court

In another affidavit dated January 13, 2022 filed by NCPCR in the suo moto writ regarding children in street situation ("CISS") , NCPCR in compliance of Top Court's order dated December 13, 2021 has told the Supreme Court that 5401 Children are living on the streets with their families, 4148 children stay on the streets in the day and back home in the night with their families who reside in a nearby slum/ hutments and 396 children are living without support on the streets alone.

It has further been stated that on December 22, 2021, NCPCR had sent letters to Principal Secretaries, Department of Women and Child Development/ Social Welfare of all States /UTs to attend virtual meetings with NCPCR to discuss the measures/ steps taken by them for implementing the SOP 2.0 of NCPCR held on January 5-7, 2022.

In this regards it has been submitted that during the virtual meetings with the State/UT's NCPCR has observed that although some states/UT's have initiated the process of rescuing CISS but very few states have made efforts to rehabilitate them.

Referring to the submissions in the hearing on December 13, 2021 wherein child rights body had apprised the bench on receipt of data of 2 lakh children in street situations of 10 cities in 4 States/ UTs, NCPCR has said that,

"NCPCR letters had asked authorities to track and trace these children with help of the information of those 2 Lakhs children uploaded on the Portal. To facilitate this exercise, access of Baal Swaraj Portal-CiSS Link is also given to Special Juvenile Police Units ("SJPUs") so in cases where the child is unable to be traced by the concerned DCPUs/DCPOs, the SJPUs can be involved in tracing those children. NCPCR is hopeful to get a status update regarding those 2 Lakhs children from concerned States/ UTs."

NCPCR has also said that out of 2 lakh children around 73,000 children were in Delhi, 66000 were in Maharashtra, 34,000 in UP and around 20,000 in West Bengal.

Referring to the virtual meetings conducted, NCPCR has said that during the virtual meeting held with States/UTs, the State of West Bengal informed NCPCR that out of those 20 thousand children which were surveyed by Save the Children and shared with the State by NCPCR, State of West Bengal has so far identified 6303 children and prepared their social investigation reports as well.

The affidavit(s) have been drawn by Advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi.

Case Title: In Re Children In Need Of Care & Protection Due To Loss Of Parents During Covid 19| SMW(C) 4/2020 and Re: Children In Street Situations| SMW(C) No. 6 Of 2021

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