BJP MP Rita Bahuguna writes to Sonia Gandhi over her letter to PM Modi

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New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) A day after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's letter to the Prime Minister regarding rehabilitation of children orphaned due to COVID-19, BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Friday wrote to her, saying the Centre and BJP-ruled states, including UP, have taken steps to help such children, and asked her to 'monitor' the Congress-ruled states where the impact of the pandemic is 'immensely devastating'.

Joshi's letter to Gandhi came a day after the Congress president in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over children orphaned due to the pandemic and urged him to provide free education in Navodaya Vidyalayas to them.

Joshi was in the Congress for long before she joined the BJP. She is now the Lok Sabha MP from Allahabad constituency.

'We appreciate your concern but probably you missed the fact that the Government of India had laid guidelines and have sent advisory to all states for the rehabilitation of children who are either orphaned, have lost one of the parents or are in need for support since both parents are hospitalized or ailing with post COVID complications,' Joshi said in her letter.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that the state government would take full responsibility of children orphaned during COVID, and it has identified 765 children of whom 71 are orphaned and the rest have either lost one parent or both parents are hospitalized or ailing, Joshi said.

In a veiled swipe at Gandhi, she also asked her to 'monitor' the Congress-ruled states where the impact of the pandemic is 'immensely devastating' and 'ensure that proper care is taken of children who are victims of the COVID pandemic'.

Joshi further added that the Madhya Pradesh government is also formulating a comprehensive policy for such children.

Gandhi in her letter to Modi had requested him to consider providing free education at the Navodaya Vidyalayas to children who have lost either both parents or an earning parent on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'I feel that as a nation, we owe it to them to give them hope for a robust future after the unimaginable tragedy that has befallen them,' Sonia Gandhi had said. PTI KR PYK PYK