As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across India, the Jammu and Kashmir government has stepped up to help children who have lost parents to the deadly virus. The state has announced special scholarship for children who have been orphaned after their parents succumbed to Coronavirus.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced the details of the package and said, “Many of our near and dear ones have left us untimely due to COVID-19. The government has decided to reach out to each and every such family and they will be provided with financial assistance for self-employment.”
Meanwhile, as per the new guidelines handed out to members of district-level task forces by the Women and Child Development (WCD) department, hospitals will now have to enquire about the children of COVID-19 patients, to ensure they are in safe custody while the parents undergo treatment.
The step was taken post an order by the Supreme Court after social media posts bearing the information of children who had lost both parents to Covid-19 began doing the rounds. These posts claimed that these children were up for adoption, which the authorities red-flagged as illegal.
“The increase in cases and deaths due to Covid-19 is also having an impact on children. The situation has given rise to cases where children have lost both parents to Covid-19. This has made such children vulnerable to being victimised and trafficked or pushed into child labour. The task-force is assigned to ensure care and protection of these children,” an official told the Indian Express.
*All pictures are for representational purposes only.