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State government to look after kids orphaned by pandemic in Lucknow & UP districts

Special task force will look after the management of welfare operations for such kids in every district.

Affecting all sections of society, the second wave of the pandemic has led to extreme consequences for some misfortunate children, taking away both their parents. Making a note of this heart-wrenching situation, the Uttar Pradesh government has resolved to take care of all such kids who have lost their parents to the virus. Thereby, the Department of Women and Child Development of the state machinery has instructed to frame an extensive action plan.

60 COVID orphans identified in the state so far

Speaking about COVID orphans, that CM remarked that these kids are very valuable to the state and now, the territorial government will look after their well-being, studies and safety. As a part of the plan, the Department of Women and Child Development has asked district-level authorities to prepare an account of all such children. It has been stated that the city officials will make sure that these kids are safeguarded through varied welfare initiatives of the state government.

The programs under this initiative shall be furthered with the help of virtual online meetings in all segments of the state. As of now, around 60 kids have been spotted who have lost both their parents. Additionally, 609 kids in the state need urgent care and protection because of infected parents.

Task Force to manange welfare operations in each district

Additional chief secretary (information) Navneet Sehgal mentioned that the CM had given out orders for instituting a task force in every district. These groups shall be responsible for finding pandemic-affected orphans and they will take the necessary measures for rescuing and adopting the child. "Till Wednesday, task forces were constituted in 70 districts and meetings were held in the majority of them to hammer out a scheme for Covid orphans. Task forces will soon be formed in Firozabad, Aurraiya, Pilibhit, Hapur and Saharanpur," stated Sehgal.

The State Child Protection Society, under Section 6 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has been deputed with the responsibility of setting up shelter homes for housing the children. It has been said that the department will collaborate with other agencies for this purpose.

Rising concerns over illegal adoption appeals

Principal secretary of Child Development and Nutrition Department, Hekali Zhimomi, has been worried by the illegitimate claims on social media handles where people are wanting to adopt kids. She has also been alarmed by posts that put forward kids for adoption saying that they have lost both their parents.

Consequently, she has instructed all district authorities to take strict action against any such posts being circulated on social media, which may point towards illicit adoption or woman trafficking. She said, "The second wave of the pandemic is at its peak, particularly impacting women and children. Children are finding themselves in perilous circumstances, especially those who have lost both parents and are staring at penury." She further stated that city-level virtual support groups will supplement the work of the task forces, led by the District Magistrate.

-With inputs from IANS

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