Aastha Khatwani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development on 4th May 2021 has written the current letter with regard to supporting children who are facing distress in event of their parents getting succumbed to COVID. The contents of the letter are as follows: –
With a view to extend immediate support and rehabilitation to children under juvenile justice set up, a letter has been written by Secretary of Ministry of Women and Child development to the Chief Secretary requesting to ensure immediate action for rehabilitation of COVID orphaned children, in accordance with the provisions of the JJ Act and leveraging the facilities under Child Protection services. Based on the meeting conducted to assess the situation and the needs of women and children during the pandemic, it is requested that at least one Child Care Institution (CCI) in each district should be identified to support children for interim period, when their parents are indisposed due to COVID. The following measures are suggested: –
- All the hospitals and COVID care facilities in the district may be informed regarding this arrangement.
- Contact details of Child Welfare Committee members, Child Care Institutions, and Childline number (1098) may be displayed at the reception.
- District administration may be asked to ensure display of 1098 and Child Welfare Committee numbers at other public places also.
- Consider issuing a public notice in the local language to guide public regarding lawful course of action to be taken in case of children who have lost their parents to COVID and have no one to take care of them.