JAIPUR: As Covid-19 devastates countless families in the country, the plight of children who have lost both parents to the disease has been particularly heart-wrenching.
The New Indian Express has been reflecting many of these stories and now the Rajasthan government has come forward to help these children who are facing a harsh future.
The state Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma has instructed district collectors, principals of medical colleges and health officers to take initiatives to ensure the well-being of these children.
The health department has asked the chief medical officer of each district to take help of doctors and medical institutions in this regard.
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Additional Chief Secretary of the Department, Akhil Arora informed that nominated doctors in medical institutions will immediately communicate about the orphaned children to child helpline number 1098 or the officials concerned.
There are reports that children who have become orphans due to Covid are spread across many districts. Many of the parents died in hospitals. Number of deaths in rural areas has also increased. According to officials, 40 per cent cases and deaths are coming from villages and identifying orphaned children has become a challenge.
In a series of such painful stories covered by The New Indian Express, three are from Rajasthan. This included two sisters from Kota, Urvi (12) and Krati (5), who lost their parents in span of two days.
Among the countless orphans of Covid-19 are Supriya (16) and Bindiya (13) who lost their father and mother in a gap of just three days last month. In another incident, Poorvi and Riya had lost their parents Shyam and Mahima Maheshwari.
Sangeeta Beniwal, the chairperson of State Child Rights Commission, said, “This is a terrible tragedy. We will try our best to help these children. I will personally ensure that they are linked to the ‘Palanhaar Yojna’ under which we give Rs 1,000 a month for all orphans. The CM had also announced “Panna Dhay” in the state budget this year to help the children in need. I will also recommend this case for special assistance from the CM Relief Fund.”