Lucknow, May 20 : The Yogi Adityanath government has announced that it will take the responsibility of those children who have lost their parents during the second wave of the Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh.
The Chief Minister has said that such children were an asset to the state and his government will take care of them and will look after their health, education and security.
He has instructed the Department of Women and Child Development to prepare a comprehensive work plan for the children.
The Department has in turn, asked for a list of such children from District Magistrates.
It has already instructed district magistrates and other responsible officers in the districts to provide such orphan children every possible help under different schemes of the government.
Virtual meetings in this regard will also be held in all divisions of state.
The Yogi government has, so far, identified 60 children across the state who have lost both parents to the pandemic and another 609, whose parents or guardians are affected by Covid and need temporary care.
Additional chief secretary (information) Navneet Sehgal said that Adityanath had issued directions for formation of a task force in each district to identify and adopt such children.
“Till Wednesday, task forces were constituted in 70 districts and meetings were held in majority of them to hammer out a scheme for Covid orphans. Task forces will soon be formed in Firozabad, Aurraiya, Pilibhit, Hapur and Saharanpur,” said Sehgal.
Principal secretary, child development and nutrition department, Hekali Zhimomi, has already raised the issue of illegal appeals on social media by people seeking to adopt children who lost their parents in the pandemic or putting up such children for adoption.
Asking all District Magistrates to take cognizance of any report, story or information on children being put up for adoption or women being trafficked, especially on social media, Zhimomi said: “The second wave of the pandemic is at its peak, particularly impacting women and children. Children are finding themselves in perilous circumstances, especially those who have lost both parents and are staring at penury. Unfortunately, criminal elements are trying to take advantage of the situation.”
The State Child Protection Society, under Section 6 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, has been tasked with establishing shelters for rehabilitation of children and coordinating with various agencies.
Zhimomi said that a Covid Virtual Support Group is being set up at the district level along with a task force headed by the district magistrates.