Bangalore, March 05, 2022: Child Rights and You (CRY) gets associated with Government of Karnataka’s Directorate of Child Protection under the ‘Department of Women and Child’ to track children who have lost parents during the outbreak of the COVID pandemic and connecting them to relevant state and central schemes ensuring a protected future. “We care for You” is designed to ensure children who have lost either single or both their parents get the necessary care and protection under the supervision of the state, facilitated by CRY which has been working in the domain of child rights for the last four decades.
In a collaborative attempt 1420 children were identified who lost their parents due to COVID, bringing them within the state’s protective network. The Volunteer task force recruited and facilitated by CRY is working closely with the Directorate of Child Protection to gather and process data and bring relief. Over 20,000 calls were made from July and 1237 children were identified who lost single parents and 12 children were found out to have lost both parents by the volunteers of CRY, while further information for 171 children were not received.
The task force has recruited over 150 volunteers since its formation in July and the volunteers have been supporting the Directorate in identifying children who have lost parents (single and both) due to Covid in Bangalore Urban and Tumkur District and connecting them to the District Child Protection Unit to further connect them to relevant.
“There is a saying that It takes a village to raise a child. Care and protection of children is not a sole responsibility of the Govt or a NGOs or by any individual stakeholder. We all need to come together and work in unison to ensure protection of children. Every individual’s contribution is valuable. We are happy to acknowledge the efforts of CRY in motivating volunteers and the way they helped the Directorate of Child Protection in identifying COVID Orphan and Semi-orphan children by making calls to the line list given by BBMP,” said Pallavi Akruthi.
The state volunteer task force is anchored by CRY represented by Soumya Suresh and has technical support core team members such as Arlene Manoharan(Enfold), Sindhu Naik and Swagata Raha(Enfold). The core team has created framework and strategy for the functioning of the task force and has also conducted four orientations for volunteers like a two day detailed orientation on doing SIRs(social Investigation Report) and ICP(Individual Care Plan) for children under JJ Act.
“For volunteers the opportunity to help, while they were personally grappling with the loss of their own kith and kin, was nothing less than cathartic. It gave them an opportunity to take action for the children who were worst affected. Covid reaffirmed a belief that ‘caring for others’ is an innate need that every human being has and our volunteers are no exception,” said Trina Chakrabarti, Director, Volunteer Action, CRY.
While some have lost both their parents and have no one to look after them, others are in a situation where a single surviving parent is unable to take care of them financially and psychologically. This increase the vulnerability of children by manifold. It not only increases the possibility of child marriage, but the added financial burden to the family makes the children a vulnerable target for child atrocities. Illegal adoption rackets come into play as well with agents and middle men being active in identifying such vulnerable children and luring them into exploitative situations like child labour or trafficking.