More than 1.47 lakh children have lost at least one parent due to COVID-19 since April 1, 2020, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has informed the Supreme Court.
The commission made the submission on the basis of data uploaded to its site by states and Union Territories.
In view of the pandemic, the SC on Monday directed all district magistrates (DMs) to engage with District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) and voluntary organisations to rehabilitate children in street situations. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BV Nagarathna said: “we direct all DMs to involve DLSA and voluntary organisations in the identification of children on streets without any further delay.”
The bench added that immediate steps were required to provide shelter to children in street situations by the central and state governments.
It emphasised that children should be shifted to shelter homes and also directed the DMs to upload the information at all stages on the web portal of the NCPCR.
The bench further added that state governments and Union Territories should engage with authorities concerned to identify and rehabilitate children without any further delay.