Valley News Desk

8 Children Orphaned In J&K By Covid-19, 645 Across India: Govt

Srinagar, July 29 (GNS): Eight children lost one or both parents due to covid-19 in Jammu and Kashmir since 1 April to May 28, government said on Thursday.

They are among 645 children across India who lost the either or both parents to the pathogen, Minister of Women and child development, Srimati Smriti Zubin Irani informed parliament in a written reply to Congress Parliamentarian Kapil Sibal.

Replying to a clubbed query regarding the assistance that is being provided to orphaned children, she said that the children in distress situations merit care and protection under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

“The Act and Rules made thereunder mandate a safety net of service delivery structures along with institutional and non-institutional care for these children,” she said as per GNS, adding, “The Ministry is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely Child Protection Services (CPS) in partnership with the State Governments/UT Administrations for delivering the institutional and non-institutional care as stipulated under the JJ Act.”

As per the scheme guidelines, maintenance grant of Rs.2000 per child per month is available for non-institutional care of children in need of care and protection along with the provision maintenance grant of Rs.2160 per child per month for Children living in Child care Institutions.

Prime Minister, she said, has announced PM CARES for children scheme to support children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to COVID-19 pandemic. “The scheme provides support for education and health and will create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age,” she said, adding, “This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend form 18 years of age, for the next 5 years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.”

The scheme, she said, is accessible through an online portal i.e. pmcaresforchildren.in. The portal has been introduced to all the States and UTs on 15.07.21.”

The Ministry, she said, has asked States and UTs to take immediate action for care and protection of children adversely impacted by COVID 19, in accordance with the provisions of the JJ Act 2015 and Rules thereunder, while leveraging the facilities funded under the Child protection Services scheme.

“The Ministry has also issued advisories and guidelines for encouraging COVID appropriate behavior, monitoring of Child Care Institutions and coping strategies during COVID times for mental health support to children and care givers,” she said, adding, “A guidelines providing a responsibility matrix defining the role of primary duty holders has also been shared with the States/UTs.”(GNS)

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