A total of 788 children below 3 years and 5226 aged between 4-13 either lost both parents, one parent or were abandoned during the pandemic.
According to a report by Times of India, out of the total of 9,346 children 3,332 belong to the 14 to 17 age group.
The gender break-up of the data, shared by the National Commission for Child Rights was part of its affidavit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 4860 of the children are boys and 4486 girls.
The top court has been hearing an application, in a pending suo motu case on the spread of COVID-19 in children homes, filed by the amicus curiae highlighting the woes being faced by kids orphaned by the deadly virus. The NCPCR affidavit said that considering the surge of COVID-19, and consequently a large number of deaths, it has become essential that additional efforts be made to ensure that the rights of children are protected.
It said the first step is to identify the child in need and develop a mechanism for tracking each child who has been orphaned or has lost a parent to COVID-19 and may not have any financial support. Therefore, every such child affected by COVID-19 and found to be in distress and without family support must be produced before the concerned Child Welfare Committee under Section 31 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, it said.
The Commission said it has devised the portal, ‘Bal Swaraj’ which is being used to collect data of such children.
The NCPCR also flagged concerns that it has been receiving many complaints alleging that private individuals and organizations are involved in data collection of such children stating that they want to provide assistance to the orphaned children, but are giving away them to families in adoption without following the legal procedure.