The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has informed the Supreme Court that since April 1, 2020, a total of 1,47,492 children have lost their mother or father or both the parents due to COVID-19 and other reasons.
The NCPCR gave this information to the Supreme Court in a case related to suo motu. In this, the Supreme Court had asked the commission what is the number of children who lost their parents during the pandemic. Regarding this, NCPCR handed over these figures to the court. The commission also said that its data is up to January 11, 2021, and has been collected on the basis of data provided by the states and union territories in the Baal Swaraj Portal – COVID Care.
According to NCPCR data, the number of children who lost both their parents in India since April 2020 till now stands at 1,36,910, children in need of care and protection includeds orphans (10,094) and abandoned (488) taking the total to 1,47,492.
“That it is most humbly reiterated that the data of children uploaded on the Baal Swaraj Portal-COVID care by the States/UTs comprises both categories of children, wherein the child has lost both or either of the parent to COVID-19 disease or otherwise from April 2020 onwards”, the affidavit filed through advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi said.
The Commission also gave the current status of the shelter of children and said that the maximum of the children are with their single parent – 1,25,205, while 11,272 children are with family members, followed by 8,450 with guardians.
It said that 1,529 kids are in children’s homes, 19 in open shelter homes, two in observation homes, 188 in orphanages, 66 in special adoption agencies and 39 in hostels.
The Commission said that the maximum number of such children is from Odisha (24,405), followed by Maharashtra (19,623), Gujarat (14,770), Tamil Nadu (11,014), Uttar Pradesh (9,247), Andhra Pradesh (8,760), Madhya Pradesh (7,340), West Bengal (6,835), Delhi (6,629) and Rajasthan (6,827).
Among the children who lost their parents, 76,508 were boys, while 70,980 were girls, while four are transgender. According to the affidavit, the age group of children who were most affected during the pandemic included 59,010 children in the age group of eight to 13 years, 22,763 children in the age group of 14-15 years, 22,626 children in the age group of 16-18 years. In addition, 26,080 children between the ages of four and seven, either lost the mother or the father or both.