Between April 1, 2020, to May 25, 2021, WCD (Women and Child Development) learnt that 577 children orphaned due to the pandemic.
On June 5, NCPCR (National Commission of Protection for Child Rights) informed the Supreme Court about 30,071 orphaned children, as per data submitted by different states, who lost either one parent or were abandoned in the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 26,176 lost one parent, 3,621 have been orphaned and 274 were deserted.
Losing parent(s) has financial as well as psychological impact on children. When they lose a parent, they not only mislay the comfort but also the sense of security. They suffer anxiety, mood swings and loss of appetite, stated Anurag Kundu, chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR). Children belonging to lower and middle-income families affected worst financially. They face difficulty in accessing ration and in the long run their education is also compromised.
Consequently looking for effective ways to support the children in distress is the need of the present.
A child, as defined by Section 2 (42), Juveline Justice Act, 2015, who is without either or both parents or legal guardian or has a legal guardian but who is unable to take care of him is called an orphan.
Adoptions without the involvement of CARA is considered illegal and stringent actions are provisioned against the violators. It thus makes all the direct calls and appeal for adoption a punishable offence.
Not so long ago informing people about the legal way to help the destitute WCD Minister Smriti Irani tweeted, “If you come to know of any child who has lost both parents to COVID and has no one to take care of her/him, inform Police or Child Welfare Committee of your district or contact Childline 1098. It is your legal responsibility.”
Recently the Supreme Court of India also directed states and UTs to take actions against individuals and NGOs calling for adoption over social media platforms.
While the internet portals were overwhelmed with adoption calls, the ground reality observed far more complex and frightening. It’s been noted that of all only 5-8% are facing parental loss while a spooky percentage of 95-92% are the cases of child labour, sexual abuse and incest.