New Delhi, Jul 30 (IANS): The government on Thursday stated that a total of 645 children were orphaned due to the Covid-19 pandemic from April 2021 to May 28, 2021.
The maximum number of children who lost their parents to Covid are from Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, the government said in the Parliament.
In Uttar Pradesh, 158 children were orphaned, while in Andhra Pradesh 119 children lost their parents because of Covid-19. Maharashtra comes next where 83 children were orphaned, followed by Madhya Pradesh (73).
Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that children in distress situations merit care and protection under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The Act and Rules made thereunder mandate a safety net of service delivery structures along with institutional and non-institutional care for these children.
The ministry is implementing a Centrally sponsored scheme namely Child Protection Services (CPS) in partnership with the state governments and Union Territories for delivering institutional and non-institutional care as stipulated under the JJ Act.
"As per the scheme guidelines, maintenance grant of Rs 2,000 per child per month is available for non-institutional care of children in need of care and protection along with the provision of maintenance grant of Rs 2,160 per child per month for children living in child care institutions," the minister said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the PM-CARES for Children scheme to support children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme provides support for education and health and will create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support or stipend to the orphaned children when the attain the age of 18 years for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education, and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount in a lump-sum for personal and professional use.