We all are aware of the second wave of Covid-19 in India and the devastation it left everywhere. It affected each and every person, whether rich or poor.
In Maharashtra, near Pune, a baby starved for food for two days as her mother died due to the virus and no one to take care of her. Now the question arises, who will take care of the child and take responsibility for her future.
These incidents might leave a child in lifelong emotional and mental trauma, which might affect them and result in stressful mental conditions. There is uncertainty over their future as to who will take care of them financially and emotionally.
It might also increase family expenses and dependency of members over a single working person as the Indian family system transforms into nuclear families. So it might increase the burden on other family members like uncles and grandparents. We need to increase the burden on the government, and it should be the responsibility of the Ministry of Women and Child Development as they need to spend over orphaned children.
Ministry of Women and Child Development announced the 1098 child helpline for any emergency or any problem for this situation. It also requested that the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs insert one extra column for Covid-19 patients to mention child caretaking.
Delhi government announced to bear the responsibility and expenses of orphaned children. Punjab government announced to give ₹1500 monthly for orphaned children.
WCD also instructed that the District Child Welfare Committee will take the final call for the children. It also commented that the responsibility should be given to family members not to face any trauma in most cases. The Government of India announced monthly money to orphaned children and 10 lakh reaching after reaching the age of 23 from the PM CARES fund.
The central government should bring an umbrella scheme to cover all the orphaned children and can bring them under the Juvenile Act 2015. Civil society, NGOs and government officials can work together to deliver benefits to the child. CSR can also collaborate with different organizations under corporate social responsibility to help and share the burden.
As these are tough times, it’s not just the government responsibility to face all burden. It’s the combined responsibility of all stakeholders to face it and share the burden and come out of these tough times together. As Tom Cruise says in Mission Impossible, “Desperate times, desperate measures”.