As many as 1,572 children in Maharashtra have lost either one or both their parents due to the coronavirus infection so far, sources said on Thursday. While 1,474 children lost one parent, 98 others lost both the parents during the pandemic, the sources in the state Women and Child Development Department said.
"Of the 98, the government has got custody of 10 children since there is nobody to look after them," they said. The data about the orphaned children has been compiled based on the inputs of the district task force headed by the collectors.
The government had set up a 10-member task force in each of the 36 districts in the state to identify the children orphaned due to the pandemic. The task force will also oversee the arrangements of their shelter and supervise their adoption to ensure that there is no trafficking and exploitation.
The government has also set up a helpline number to seek information about such children after getting inputs that anti-social elements were encouraging illegal adoption of such children to be used for human trafficking.