The Tamil Nadu state government has announced Rs 5 lakh relief for each child who has been orphaned due to COVID-19.

Child silhouette Image for Representation
news Coronavirus Friday, June 11, 2021 - 21:20

The District Child Protection offices of Tamil Nadu have identified about 1,400 children in the state who have lost either one or both parents to the COVID-19 pandemic since the first wave hit the state. This data compiled by the district child protection offices are as on June 9, Wednesday. Of this, 50 children have lost both parents. 

The Tamil Nadu state government has announced Rs 5 lakh relief for each child who has been orphaned due to COVID-19. The chief minister also said that the government will bear the educational cost and hostel fees for the children until they complete their graduation. As for children who have lost one of their parents to COVID-19, Rs 3 lakh will be sanctioned. An assistance of Rs 3,000 per month was also announced for children who live with a caretaker/guardian until they turn 18.

According to the CM’s announcement, "For all the children who have lost both their parents due to COVID-19, Rs 5 lakh will be deposited and the amount will be handed over to them along with the interest after they complete 18 years of age. The children will be given priority to stay in government homes. The state will also bear the cost of hostel and education fees until the children complete their graduation. For the children who have lost one of their parents to the coronavirus, as an immediate relief, Rs 3 lakh will be sanctioned.”

However, if a person is cured of COVID-19 and later dies due to post-COVID complications, there is no compensation to the children who lose their parents. This has created a major discrepancy with respect to the announcement.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPR) informed the Supreme Court that between April 1, 2020, and June 5, 2021, more than 30,000 children across the country lost both the parents or one of the parents due to COVID-19. These details include those who died due to post-COVID complications and was compiled by Bala Swaraj portal on the basis of data collated from the states.

The court also directed the state to upload all information regarding the children orphaned or lost one parent due to COVID-19 or other diseases after March 2020 on the NCPR portal. Priyank Kanoong, Chairperson, NCPR told IANS: "We can link these children to welfare schemes of the central government and provide them with right protection and care. We don't want them to end up in institutions and we need to take care of them properly and equally.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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