A total of 30,071 children in India — a majority 39 per cent of them aged between 8 and 13 years — were either orphaned, lost one parent or abandoned between April 2020 and June 5, says data from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
As per the data, submitted by the NCPCR in the Supreme Court last week, 3,621 children were orphans, 26,176 have lost one parent and 274 were abandoned between April 2020 and June 2021. It is important to note that the data was irrespective of the cause of death and coronavirus may not be the reason for all the children impacted.
Of the impacted 30,000 children, 15,620 were boys while 14,447 were girls. Four transgender children were also impacted.
The age group between 8 and 13 years was the most impacted — 11,815 children in this age group were either orphaned or have lost one parent or abandoned. A total of 5,339 teenagers between 16 and 18 years of age were also impacted. Over 2,900 children were below three years. Further, 5,107 were between 4 and 7 years while 4,908 were between 14 and 15 years of age.
The data says that Maharashtra reported most numbers as 7,084 children were orphaned, abandoned, or have lost a parent – accounting for about 24 percent of the total tally.
In Maharashtra – among the most impacted states due to the infection- 217 children were orphaned and over 6,865 children lost either parent. Two children were abandoned. In Uttar Pradesh, 3,172 children were impacted.
States where over 2,000 children impacted were: Rajasthan (2,482), Haryana (2,438), Madhya Pradesh (2,243), Andhra Pradesh (2,089) and Kerala (2,002). In Bihar 1,634 children were impacted while in Odisha 1,073 children were affected.
As per the NCPCR, this information was provided by the states and Union Territories on its ‘Bal Swaraj’ Portal. The portal was created amid the growing problem related to children in need of care and protection.
On May 26, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said 577 children across the country were orphaned after their parents died to COVID-19 since April 1 this year.
Till date, 3.77 lakh people have died in India due to coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.