The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has informed the Supreme Court that since April 1, 2020, a total of 1,47,492 children had lost either or both of their parents due to Covid and other reasons.
In a suo motu case regarding care and protection of children having lost their parents amid the pandemic, the NCPCR said related data had been uploaded by the states and Union Territories on their Bal Swaraj Portal (Covid Care) by January 11.
The affidavit, filed through advocate Swaroopma Chaturvedi, said that the data uploaded till January 11 showed that the total number of children in need of care and protection is 1,47,492, of whom 1,00,94 are orphans and in need of parental care.
The number of children who lost one parent is 1,36,910 and the number of children abandoned is 488. According to the commission, of the 1,47,492 children, 76,508 are boys, 70,980 girls and four transgender.
The affidavit said that of the total number of children, 59,010 children are in the age group of eight to 13 years while 26,080 are in the four to seven-year age group.
Statistics show that the total number of children in the age group of 14 to 15 years is 22,763 and the total number of children in the age group of 16 to 18 years is 22,626.
The commission has also given information about the status of children’s shelters, according to which maximum children (1,25,205) are with either of the parents, while 11,272 children are with family members and 8,450 with parents.
As many as 1,529 children are living in children’s homes, 19 in open shelters, two in observation homes, 188 in orphanages, 66 are with specialised adoption agencies and 39 in hostels.
Odisha has maximum 24,405 orphans, followed by 19,623 in Maharashtra, 14,770 Gujarat, 11,014 Tamil Nadu, 9,247 Uttar Pradesh, 8,760 Andhra Pradesh, 7,340 Madhya Pradesh, 6,835 West Bengal, 6,629 Delhi and 6,827 Rajasthan.