91 orphans, half-orphans of Coimbatore: A Covid tragedy

Covid-19 is scripting untold miseries taking away lives of near and dear ones besides crippling the financial position as people turn jobless but the most vulnerable of the tragic lot are the children as in any other crisis as well.

In Coimbatore alone, 91 children have lost their parents — either one or both due to Covid -19.

The Office of the District Child Protection Council (DCPO) in Coimbatore on Sunday said that 91 children under 18 years of age have lost either one or both parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of the 91 children who lost their parents, family members of 53 of these children have sought financial assistance from the government.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Saturday announced that the state government would deposit Rs 5 lakh in the name of each child who has been orphaned by Covid-19 and Rs 3 lakh in the name of each one half-orphaned.

Children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19 and who are staying with their relatives will be paid Rs 3,000 per month till they turn 18 years.

An officer with the DCPO told IANS: “We have identified 91 such children who have lost one of their parents or both the parents to Covid-19. Single parent, relatives, and guardians of these children do not want them to be sent to government homes.

“We have received requests from 51 family members of children who lost one of the parents and 2 applications from relatives of children who lost both their parents for assistance from the government.”

The Confederation of Indian Industries, Coimbatore chapter, in association with the DCPO has arranged groceries and other necessary items for the next three to four months for the families of children who lost one of the parents or both.

K. Manikantan, an office bearer of CII, Coimbatore chapter, told IANS: “We are supporting the families of these children but the government announcement will help alleviate their difficulties and the relatives who look after these children will not also be burdened.”