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Over 1 lakh kids orphaned or lost a parent since April 2020: NCPCR to SC

The first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic across the country resulted in more than 100,000 children losing one or both their parents. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) provided this information to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Between April 1, 2020 and August 23, 2021, the commission, which has been collecting data on orphans and children who have lost either of their parents through a dedicated website called Bal Swaraj, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court through advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi, claiming that 101,032 children were abandoned, became orphans or lost one of their parents due to Covid-19 or other reasons.

According to the commission, there were 8,161 orphans, 396 abandoned children and 92,475 children who lost one of their parents. The cause of death, according to the affidavit, includes non-Covid-19 causes as well.

The document was filed as part of a suo motu appeal before the Supreme Court, which is overseeing efforts to provide food, shelter and education to children who have been abandoned or orphaned as a result of the pandemic. The court is being assisted by amicus curiae (friend of Court) advocate Gaurav Agrawal.

NCPCR has now filed its third affidavit in the case. The commission previously gave a total of 6,855 orphans, 68,218 children who had lost one parent and 247 abandoned children in an affidavit detailing information received from states up to July 23.

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When the court last heard the case on July 27, West Bengal was chastised for failing to provide the number of orphans and children who lost one parent due to the outbreak. The court deemed the state’s claim of 27 orphans, three abandoned children and 1,020 children who had lost one of their parents ‘not credible.’

The NCPCR affidavit revealed a realistic picture in West Bengal, with 308 orphans and 6,270 children who lost either of their parents, as well as two children, found abandoned from April 2020 to August 23,

Maharashtra is the only state in the country to have a five-digit number of children impacted during the reporting period, with 470 orphaned children and 14,925 children who lost both parents, bringing the total number of children affected to 15,401. (including six abandoned children).


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