Generation of Covid Orphans at Risk of Exploitation in India

Saritha Rai and Schwetha Sunil - Bloomberg

According to this article from Bloomberg, "authorities [in India] are scrambling to get a count of how many children have been abandoned, either because their parents have been hospitalized or died or because the surviving parent isn’t able to care for them." Government officials and NGOs are concerned about trafficking risks for these children. 

"Orphaned children are at risk of being trafficked in smaller towns and rural areas where poverty is endemic and police presence minimal, says Jalla Lalithamma, a social activist with the People’s Organization for Rural Development, based in Madanapalle, a city of less than 200,000 that’s a three-hour drive from Bangalore. During the current Covid wave, Lalithamma has documented dozens of cases of child-rights violations in the area. Destitute children are being recruited to brew bootleg alcohol and haul sacks of tomatoes at the wholesale vegetable market in town. 'If the breadwinner in the family has died, young girls are being lured to work in factories in nearby cities and then trafficked' for prostitution, she says."