The City International School and the NGO, DEVI Sansthan, has stepped forward to provide free education to those 346 children of Lucknow who have lost either one or both their parents during the pandemic.
Sunita Gandhi, the founder of the school and the NGO had approached the UP Women and Child Welfare Directorate with an offer to educate the Covid orphans and she was forwarded a list of 346 children who have lost either a breadwinner parent or both parents, or have an income of less than 3 lakh per annum as decided under the UP Mukhya Mantri Bal Vikas Yojana.
Gandhi said that the children would not only study but also stay in the care of the school where she has set up a residential section for these children.
These are children who would have otherwise been accommodated in the Rajkiya Bal Graha.
“So many dreams have been shattered. We cannot replace the loss. All we can do is give them a loving and nurturing environment in which they can re-build their lives, create lovely new memories, and thrive by giving them an aspirational environment.
“We have been touched to the core when we began to meet these children. We have decided to support Mukhya Mantri Bal Sewva Yojana, a step taken by the chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, who has pledged to support these children with their education with a laptop and Rs 4,000 per month until they turn 18," said Gandhi.
Manoj Rai, Director, Women and Children Welfare, UP, lauded the initiative and said, “Our department is very thankful to Sunita Gandhi for volunteering to educate these children for free. All these children will benefit a lot.
“I appeal to other educational institutes in UP to come forward, as Dr Gandhi did, and educate children who have been orphaned due to Covid. It will go a long way in ensuring a bright future for these children. I am sure not only that the children are in safe hands under her care, but are also going to get much-needed care and a loving environment in which they can flourish."