577 COVID orphans reported so far by states: sources

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New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) As many as 577 COVID orphans have been reported by states so far and all of them are with their immediate families, sources have said.

Clarifying that these children are not abandoned and are under the watch and protection of district authorities, the sources said that if such children need counselling a team at NIMHANS is ready.

'There are 577 orphan kids due to COVID-19 identified by states. They are not abandoned and under the watch and protection of district authorities,' a source said, adding that all the 577 children are with their families.

The source further said that there is no shortage of funds for ensuring the welfare of these children.

'The Centre is in constant touch with states and districts about these kids. There is no shortage of funds for their welfare. The Women and Child Development Ministry has held meetings with all stakeholders, including the UNICEF,' the source added.

They said it is 'unfortunate and painful' that when the Women and Child Development Ministry approached renowned activists who were talking about COVID orphans, they gave no details till date about the children orphaned due to the pandemic.

WCD Secretary Ram Mohan Mishra said India is going to open 10 one stop centres in 10 missions across nine countries. One stop centres (OSCs) tackle cases of violence against women.

'One OSC will be established each in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Australia, Canada and Singapore, while two will be established in Saudi Arabia,' he said, noting that 300 more OSCs will be opened across the country.

These centres will be supported by the WCD Ministry and operated by the External Affairs Ministry, he said. PTI JTR UZM AAR AAR