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Delhi, West Bengal reluctant to provide data on children orphaned due to COVID-19, alleges NCPCR chairperson

By Gaurav Arora | Updated: Jun 09, 2021 23:50 IST

New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has alleged that the Delhi and West Bengal governments have been reluctant in providing data of children orphaned due to COVID-19.
Kanoongo told ANI that the Supreme Court had called for information about children, who have been orphaned or have lost one of their parents to COVID-19.
The NCPCR had told the Supreme Court on Monday that 30,071 children were orphaned, lost a parent or abandoned mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic as per data submitted by different states till June 5.
It said that state-wise data received regarding children who have lost a parent or both parents from April 1 last year to June 5, 2021, irrespective of their reason of death, was uploaded on its 'Bal Swaraj' portal.
Kanoongo said they were tracking children so that they can be linked with government schemes.
"We have tracked down around 26,000 such children who have lost one of the parents and around 3,500 such children who have lost both the parents," he said.
He alleged that they did not get proper help from Delhi and West Bengal.
"Delhi informed us about five such children but other sources told us that the number of children should be more. This attitude is not right, the order of the Supreme Court should be obeyed," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal however rubbished the allegations.
"Why will we hide the data, everything is transparent, all the data is in front, we will give the data to the agency. You also want we will give to you (the media)," he said.
Kanoongo accused the Chief Minister of "lying".
He said they had sent letters to Delhi Chief Secretary and other officers for information.
"The Supreme Court has given clear instructions that they will have to give data," Kanoongo added.
Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, representing the Commission in the Supreme Court, had appealed to the apex court to issue directions to the States and Union Territories to update the data of such children immediately.
The apex court had also told Delhi and West Bengal governments on Monday to share information about the number of orphans or lost a single parent during COVID-19 since April 2020. (ANI)