National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo talks about the challenges of ensuring care for children during the pandemic. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Social media is abuzz with requests to help kids who lost their parents to Covid….
If the child is under the ‘protection and care’ category, then it’s compulsory to produce them before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which decides where to keep them and how. Child helpline no. 1098 is getting several distress calls and such kids are being produced before the CWC.
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Are there any proposals to speed up adoption of these kids?
Declaring that a child can be adopted is the CWC’s responsibility. Kids who lost their parents to Covid should not lose their home and property too. It is the CWC’s responsibility to take care of these things. Children who are just 1-2 years old should surely be put up for adoption.
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With the state machinery tied up with Covid relief operations and lockdowns, how are you ensuring care for children?
All district child protection units are on alert. And helplines are working 24x7. To ensure the safety of children, you have to keep the family together. We will try to provide emotional and financial help when required. We track information on every kid who comes to us. Once the pandemic eases a little, we plan to have an individual childcare plan for every child who comes up in the system and it will be done online.
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