Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 30,000 children in this subcontinent have lost at least one parent. NGOs are ringing alarm bells for the dangers they face.
Priyanka and Sonia (names changed) are still in shock. In early May, Covid-19 took away the mothers of two young girls in just a few days, and their lives changed drastically. Their mother was a farm worker, and her health deteriorated sharply on May 5. “Her body temperature is rising, she is short of breath”, I remember the youngest, Priyanka. The family’s mother died in an ambulance that day, and the ambulance took her to the hospital, which is located 30 kilometers from their village in the southern state of Telangana. 16-year-old Priyanka and 19-year-old Sonia are alone.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many Indian children have lost at least one parent. According to data collected by the National Committee for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, 3,621 parents have been orphaned in the country since January.Yes In April 2020, 26,176 people have lost a parent.
The pandemic is not only a health crisis, but also a “Children’s Rights Crisis”, According to UNICEF. “These children are not only experiencing emotional tragedies, but they are also at high risk of being neglected, abused and exploited.”, Yasmin Ali Haque, the organization’s representative in India, warned.
In the case of Priyanka and Sonia, it was the local residents who sounded the alarm. An anonymous informant warned Bachpan Bachao Andolan (“Save the Youth Campaign”), a non-governmental organization of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. “We immediately notified the authorities, and before assessing their safety and protection, we provided food for the two girls.”, Said Venkateshwarlu Ande, who coordinated the organization’s activities in the area.
In early May 2021, when proposals for illegal adoptions began to appear on social media, India suddenly realized the great vulnerability of children orphaned by Covid-19.