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Children in distress: Centre issues guidelines for States, UTs to ensure quality care

Prime News, National, Children, Health, Disease, New Delhi, June 7:- “Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured. They are the future of a nation and the citizens of tomorrow.” – Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru

The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has brought with it a series of inexplicable events, especially for the children! Thus, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has asked the States/UTs to ensure quality care and protection of children, adversely affected by Covid-19, as mandated under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

To ensure that no child in distress slips through the safety net, certain guidelines are put in place by the central government.

1. Identification and profiling of children:

– Instructions have been given to States, UTs to identify children in distress and create a database of each child with the details of their specific needs and requirements.

– The data must be kept secure ensuring confidentiality about their identities, as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

2. *Vigilance and Protection*:

– To ensure that the children in distress are covered under govt’s safety net, strict vigil by authorities stationed in-State, UTs is advised.

– The contact details of Child Welfare Committees and Childline No 1098 are advised to be publicised at hospital receptions.

3. Emergency Care and Rehabilitation:

– Directions have been given for the immediate rehabilitation of children through existing child care facilities supported under the Child Protection Services scheme.

– Adequate provisions for pediatric and neonatal care may be ensured in every district.

4. Institutional support through Child Care Institutions (CCIs):

– The CCIs to organise special inspection drives with District Magistrates for assessment of quality care in all Child Care Institutions to ascertain children’s wellbeing.

– Suitable arrangements for isolation, proper hygiene, food, etc., must be ensured for children suffering from Covid-19.

– Child Psychologists or Counselors should visit CCIs to interact with children.

5. Role of District Magistrate and District Administration Guardianship:

– The DM shall be the guardian of vulnerable children impacted adversely by Covid-19 and make efforts to rehabilitate them, as prescribed under the JJ Act, 2015.

6. Police support:

– The District Police to stay on alert to prevent trafficking of children, illegal adoption, child marriage, child labour, or abuse of any kind.

– Vigil may be kept on CCIs and vulnerable hot spots during night rounds in urban and rural areas to review living conditions.

7. Support of Urban Local Bodies:

– The child protection committees at panchayat level must identify and inform about children in distress to the District Child Protection unit.

– Sensitisation and orientation of Urban Local Bodies regarding schemes announced for children in distress.

8. Education:

– Free education for orphan children through Government Day Schools or nearest private schools under Section- 12(1)(c) of RTE.

– Vocational training may be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

9. Medical facilities:

– Health insurance may be secured for children under PM Jan Arogya Yojana scheme of Government of India.

Earlier, PM Modi announced that under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme, a fixed deposit will be opened in the name of children who lost their parents to the pandemic.

The PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he/she reaches 18 years of age. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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