The Children of India’s COVID Surge

Priyali Sur - Slate

Many children in India have lost parents to the second wave of COVID-19. "Some find themselves in the care of relatives and guardians, others remain alone at hospital emergency rooms and homes not knowing what to do with their parents’ bodies. Some have lost one parent, while others have lost both. Concrete data is unavailable, but child protection authorities say that distress calls about children whose mothers and fathers died of COVID have significantly increase," says this article from Slate. "According to India’s Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, a child orphaned due to loss of both parents can be placed in foster care with extended family or in group foster care. The child can also be put up for adoption or sent to child care institutions run by both the government and NGOs until they are 18 years old," says the article. However, "nearly 40 percent of the country’s child care institutions do not have adequate measures in place to prevent physical or sexual abuse of children, according to a 2020 national audit of shelter homes in India, commissioned by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights."