In the words of India’s former prime minister, Children are like buds in a garden & should be carefully & lovingly nurtured. They are the future of a nation and the citizens of tomorrow.
The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has brought with it a series of inexplicable events, especially for children! Thus, the Ministry of Women & Child Development has asked the States/UTs to ensure quality care & protection of Children, adversely affected by Covid-19, as mandated under the Juvenile Justice Act,2015.
To ensure that no child in distress slips through the safety net, certain guidelines are put in place. Let’s find out in detail about the issued guidelines:
1. Identification & Profiling of children:
– Instructions have been given to states/UTs to identify children in distress & create a database of each child with the details of their specific needs & requirements.
– The data must be kept secure ensuring confidentiality about their identities, as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
2. Vigilance & Protection:
– In order to ensure that the children in distress are covered under govt’s safety net, strict vigil by authorities stationed in-state/UTs is advised.
– The contact details of Child Welfare Committees & Childline no-1098 are advised to be publicized at hospital receptions.
3. Emergency Care & Rehabilitation:
– Directions have been given for the immediate rehabilitation of children through existing child care facilities supported under the Child Protection Services scheme.
– Adequate provisions for pediatric & neonatal care may be ensured in every district.
4. Institutional support through Child Care Institutions (CCIs):
– The CCIs to organize special inspection drives with District Magistrates, for assessment of quality care in all Child Care Institutions for ascertaining the wellbeing of children.
– Suitable arrangements for isolation, proper hygiene, food, etc must be ensured for children suffering from Covid-19.
– Child Psychologists or Counselors should visit CCIs to interact with children.
5. Role of District Magistrate & District Administration Guardianship:
– The DM shall be the Guardian of vulnerable children impacted adversely by Covid-19 & make efforts to rehabilitate them, as prescribed under the JJ Act, 2015.
6. Police support:
– The District Police to stay on alert to prevent trafficking of children, illegal adoption, child marriage, child labor, or abuse of any kind.
– Vigil may be kept on CCIs & vulnerable hot spots during night rounds in Urban & Rural areas to review living conditions.
7. Support of Urban local bodies:
– The child protection committees at Panchayat level must identify & inform about children in distress to District Child Protection Unit.
– Sensitization & orientation of Urban Local Bodies regarding schemes announced for children in distress.
– Free education for orphan children through government Day schools or nearest pvt schools under Section section 12(1)(c) of RTE.
– Vocational training may be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
9. Medical facilities:
– Health Insurance may be secured for children under PM Jan Arogya Yojana scheme of Government of India.
Earlier, PM Modi had announced that under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme, a fixed deposit will be opened in the name of children who lost their both parents to the pandemic.
The PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he/she reaches 18 years of age.
The following steps by the government are aimed to make the lives of children in distress, merrier!
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