Supreme Court: Heart-wrenching to see survival of children without parents due to Covid-19

Suo moto Covid Law Insider IN
Suo moto Covid Law Insider IN

Aanchal Agarwal –

Published on: August 30, 2021, at 14:42 IST

The Supreme Court, while hearing a Suo Motu matter on “Contagion of Covid-19 on Children Protection Homes”, said that many children have lost their parents due to this pandemic and it is very heart wrenching to see their situation right now.

The Court, however, expressed relief stating that satisfactory progress has been made by the Government for identifying the children who have either lost one parent or have become orphans and also scheme have been made to look into their welfare and further education.

The Bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Anuriddha Bose observed that the State Governments have also introduced several schemes to cater to the basic needs of these children.

The Supreme Court also observed that almost one lakh children have lost either one or both their parents.

The Court held that inquiries by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) with regards to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 have to be completed as soon as possible to identify all those children who need help.

These children have a right to get free and mandatory elementary education and the State must provide them with it.

The Bench took note of the submission made by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bharti on behalf of the Central Government that children up to the age of 18 years are eligible to get free education under PM Cares for Children Scheme made especially for Covid-19 affected children.

At least 2600 children are eligible under that scheme and over 480 applications have already been approved by the District Magistrate.

The Bench directed the District Magistrates to complete the approval process of all the remaining children.

Also, the State Government must ask private schools to waive off the fees of such students and if they are unwilling to do so then the State must pay all the expenses.

The Court also stated that a further hearing on this matter will be done on 7th October.

Also Read: Supreme Court directs Child Welfare Committee to complete enquiries under Juvenile Justice Act

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