Lancet study on children orphaned during COVID

On February 24, 2022, the Lancet released its study on children orphaned during covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points

  • The Lancet has claimed that, 19 lakh children in India lost a parent or caregiver to Covid 19.
  • However, responding to the report, Ministry of Women and Child Development noted that, findings have no correlation to ground realities.
  • Ministry is of the view that, there is no doubt that researchers have used sophisticated methodology to estimate numbers on children, who lost their primary caregivers. But these findings have no correlation with ground reality in India.
  • According to ministry’s data, number of children affected due to Covid in India is 1,53,827. Furthermore, this data is not restricted to Covid-19 orphans alone.

SC direction to identify children

The Supreme Court had directed states and UTs to identify children who lost one or more of their parents or have been abandoned amid Covid-19 pandemic, due to any reason, Covid or otherwise. The loss of parent could have been due to pandemic, natural, unnatural, or from any other cause during the covid-19 pandemic period.

Which authority is looking after such child?

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been made the nodal monitoring agency in this regard. NCPCR has set up a “Bal Swaraj portal”. On this portal, states upload their data. This data is collected at district level. The data collated on the portal is from April 1, 2020. As of now, 1,53,827 children have been registered on the portal. It includes 1,42,949 children with single parent, 492 abandoned children while 10,386 children who have lost both their parents.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

NCPCR is an Indian statutory body established by under “Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005”. It works under Ministry of Women and Child Development. It started operating on March 5, 2007.

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