By Kinjal Mehta | Asst Manager |Communications & Donor Relations
More than 1,00,000 children lost either or both their parents in the second wave of COVID-19 which was at its peak in India between April and July, 2021. News channels during this time was filled with information about children orphaned due to COVID. There were also reports of social media posts in which people were sharing information about such children and calling for their adoption, without realising that this is illegal and could put the child in danger of trafficking.
In order to create awareness about the process of legal adoption and the right authority to report cases of children in difficult situations, we designed informational posters in local languages and shared them in our networks. We included our phone numbers as well in these posters for people to reach out for guidance. We received several calls for help on registering for support schemes announced by the Government for children and families who faced bereavement due to COVID. Our teams responded by sharing appropriate information and also facilitating the application to schemes in some cases.
In the state of Goa, we along with 4 other organizations set up an isolation cum temporary care centre for children in partnership with the Women and Child Development Department of the state. This facility is intended to cater to the care needs of children whose both parents are infected by COVID and who do not have any one else to care for them while their parents are undergoing treatment.
We also conducted virtual COVID-preparedness trainings for CCIs and child welfare authorities in Odisha, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh together with our partners Aangan Trust and Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children. In addition to this, the following are few activities we conducted between May and August, 2021:
We conducted a virtual master trainers training in Karnataka on vulnerability mapping in partnership with the Directorate of Child Protection the state. The masters trainers would conduct trainings for Anganwadi Workers across the state on child rights, child protection and adoption awareness using material shared by us.
We are in the process of connecting children and families in need of support with Government social welfare schemes in Madhya Pradesh. These children and families had been identified by Anganwadi workers as part of our vulnerability mapping project in Madhya Pradesh. At present we are conducting social investigation of cases identified and sharing the information with district authorities for support.
We are conducting virtual capacity building sessions for 2 Government run child care institutions in the district of Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh. The objective is to help them provide better care and services to children to children in their care.
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