Covid-19 second wave has been unprecedented and has not only left many deaths in its wake but also many children orphaned.
On Thursday, Kerala Government has announced financial aid of 3 lakhs for children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19. Rs. 2000 will be given by the state, per month, until the child reaches the age of 18. The state government will also bear the cost of the child’s education till the degree-level.
Other states have also announced similar schemes to aid children in the pandemic. Delhi CM Arwind Kejriwal recently announced that cost of education and upbringing will be accounted for by the government for children who have lost their parents during the pandemic. Odisha and Manipur governments have also announced similar schemes for children.
With the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, many, especially in the age group 30-50 years, have lost their lives, leaving many children orphaned. In Kerala, official figures point to around 300 people within the age group losing their life to the virus, however, public health experts say the actual number could be around 4 times this. In Maharashtra alone, around 2290 children have lost one or both parents to the virus. The Central Govt, announced Rs. 10 Lakhs for orphaned children given to each district, however the count has only come upto 577 children so far. With under reporting of Covid-19 cases and deaths and unreliability of official figures, it is concerning to think of how many children might be left out of such schemes.
Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi speaking at the opening of the 74th World Health Assembly virtually, called on countries to take urgent action for the millions of children living in extreme poverty, whose families are suffering devastating impacts of Covid-19. He warned that at least 140 million more children have been pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic, and the number of children being exploited in child labour is expected to increase for the first time in decades.