Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary of Ministry of Women and Child development on 30th April 2021 wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary drawing his attention towards the issues impacting children in the pandemic and highlighting the need for directing the District Magistrates in all districts of States/UTs to ensure immediate measures for rehabilitation of children who are recently orphaned due to losing their parents to COVID. The following measures are suggested: –
- Ensure that such children are produced before ethe Child Welfare Committee (CWC) within 24 hours, excluding the time necessary for the journey.
- Digital platform for interaction may be used in exceptional cases where physical interaction is not possible.
- The CWC shall ascertain the immediate need of the child and pass appropriate order for the rehabilitation of the child.
- Effort should be made to sustain the children in their family and community environment as far as possible, while ensuring their safety in their surroundings and safeguarding their interest, as prescribed under the Act.
- If the child is restored to any kind of kinship care, the CWC shall continue to check the well-being of the child on a regular basis.
- Care must be taken to protect the identity of the child.
- The information of a child who has lost both parents may be shared with 1098. The local childline unit will contact the child to confirm the case and ascertain the well-being of the child.
- Childline will produce the child to the CWC with 24 hours. Local childline will assist the CWC in monitoring the well-being of the child.
- The district administration under the district magistrate shall take all necessary measures to restore normalcy in the life of COVID orphaned child on immediate basis.