Covid-19 devastated many lives, heart-wrenching to see survival of children at stake: SC | India News


NEW DELHI: Covid-19 has devastated many lives and it is “heartbreaking” that the survival of children who lost one or both parents during the pandemic is at stake. Supreme Court he said, but expressed his satisfaction with the plans announced by the Center and the states to provide them with relief. the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are glad that the UoI (Union of India) and the state Union governments / Territories have announced plans to help children in need. We have no doubt that the authorities concerned would leave no stone unturned to meet the immediate basic needs of the children killed, “said a bank of magistrates. L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose.
The high court, which was hearing a suo motu matter on ‘Covid-19 contagion in child protection homes’, noted in its order that more than a lakh of children have lost one or both parents during the pandemic.
“The catastrophe caused by the cataclysmic Covid-19 has devastated many lives, especially children at a tender age who have lost their parents,” the bank said, adding that “it is heartbreaking to observe that the survival of so many children is at stake. . ”
He said that investigations by the Child Welfare Committee (CAQ), in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Child Care and Protection) Act 2015, should be accelerated to identify children in need of care and protection.
Immediate steps must also be taken to ensure that the benefits of the schemes reach minors in need, the bank said.
The higher court said that all children have a constitutional right to free and compulsory primary education and that the state has a duty and an obligation to facilitate the education of children.
“We have no doubt that the State realizes the importance of continuing education for homeless children,” the court said in its August 26 order.
The court took note of the submissions by Additional Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati, who appeared for the Center, that education for eligible children up to 18 years of age is sought to be provided under the ‘PM cares about children‘scheme launched for the support and empowerment of children affected by Covid-19.
Bhati told the court that states have registered 2,600 children eligible for benefits under the scheme and of these, 418 applications have been approved by district magistrates.
The court ordered the district magistrates to complete the approval process for the applications of the remaining children whose names have been registered for the ‘PM Cares’ scheme.
“In case of need, fees and other expenses of the 2,600 children, whose names have been registered for the ‘PM cares for the children’s plan, it will be taken care of by the government of India, “he said.
The bank said that for children, who have lost one or both parents after March last year, state governments will consult with private schools to waive the distressed children fee for the current academic year.
“In the event that private institutions are not willing to make such an exemption, the state government will bear the burden of the fee,” said the court, adding: “With respect to these children among the 2,600 registered under the ‘PM Cares for Children ‘, state governments can apply to the government of India to cover the fee and other expenses related to their education for the current academic year. ”
While examining the state details placed before it, the court said that after completing the investigations, the CWC can identify children who do not need care and protection, and financial assistance from the states.
“These children do not need to receive the benefits that state governments advertise. Only children who need care and protection, in terms of the (juvenile justice) law, should receive assistance from state governments,” he said.
The bank has published the matter for an additional hearing on October 7.
In an additional affidavit filed last week, the national commission for the protection of children’s rights (NCPCR) had told the high court that more than a lakh of children need care and protection, as they are orphans, have lost a parent or were abandoned during the pandemic since April last year.
According to information uploaded to the ‘Bal Swaraj’ portal by states and Union Territories, there are 8,161 children who have been orphaned, 92,475 have lost one of their parents and 396 have been abandoned between April 1, 2020 and August 23 of this year.
The high court had previously approved a series of instructions for the care and protection of children who have been orphaned or lost a parent or were abandoned during the pandemic.

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