The Women and Child Welfare Ministry has stepped in to ensure that no panic is created over children orphaned due to Covid fatalities.
As per the statistics available with the ministry, 577 children have been have orphaned due to Covid. Each state was asked for data on such children.
The government has cautioned against panic on the issue. Meanwhile, some of such cases were found to be fake, while there have been misleading messages in social media groups. The local police and the cyber cell have been asked to check such cases and take action against them.
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 10 lakh to each district to help children orphaned by Covid, either through counselling or other means. This is in addition to other schemes available for the welfare of children.
In the second wave, there have been cases of children who have lost both their parents and with no clarity on their legal position. There have been a flurry of appeals on social media, prompting Women and Child Welfare Minister Smriti Irani to declare that such cases have to be reported to the designated helpline number, 1098. Action would be initiated against anyone offering to adopt, or putting up children for adoption without legal formalities. This would be seen as child trafficking. The ministry also cautioned about collecting donations in the name of orphans.
The local police and the home ministry are also helping to ensure these orphans are taken care of.