New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Friday wrote to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi urging her to ensure proper care of COVID affected children in the states ruled by her party.
The BJP MP's letter comes a day after Sonia Gandhi's call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding free education to children who have been affected by the pandemic.
"The daily newspapers today here published your letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing your concern regarding children orphaned during COVID. We appreciate your concern but probably you missed the fact that the Government of India had laid guidelines and have sent advisory to all states for the rehabilitation of children who are either orphaned, have lost one parent, or are in need of support since both parents are hospitalised or ailing with post-COVID complications," Joshi said in her letter to Sonia Gandhi.
She apprised the Congress interim president that the BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are taking effective steps to provide all possible support to children in need and a comprehensive policy will be brought in this regard in the next week.
Highlighting the efforts taken by the Uttar Pradesh government, she said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that the state government would take full responsibility for the children orphaned during COVID. The state government has identified 765 children of whom 71 are orphaned and the rest have either lost one parent or both parents are hospitalised or ailing. The Child Welfare Committees are in contact with such children and their extended family members. As of now, necessary kits are being provided to them, mentioned Joshi.
"We are committed to providing good education and a secure future for them. In Uttar Pradesh, the state government-sponsored Atal Residential School Programme is underway. All 18 divisions of Uttar Pradesh will have one such school. In case the orphaned children require residential schooling. they could find a place in Atal Residential Schools. In other cases sponsorship program could be implemented for children who choose to live with their extended families. Madam, the policy of complete rehabilitation, sustenance allowance, free education and much more is being considered by our state government and the policy will be declared in the next few days," the BJP MP explained.
Joshi said the Madhya Pradesh Government is also formulating a comprehensive policy for children either orphaned or left in destitution due to the pandemic.
"Madam, in this regard you need to kindly monitor the Congress-ruled states where the impact of the pandemic is immensely devastating and ensure that proper care is taken of children who are victims of the COVID pandemic," she urged.
Sonia Gandhi on Thursday had written to PM Modi asking him to consider free education for children who have lost either both parents or an earning parent to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Amidst the devastation caused by the pandemic and the heart-wrenching tragedies being faced by affected families, news of young children losing one or both parents to COVID-19 are the most poignant. These children are left with the trauma of loss and no support towards a stable education or future. I am writing to request you to consider providing free education at the Navodaya Vidhyalayas to children who have lost either both parents or an earning parent on account of the COVID-19 pandemic," she wrote to Prime Minister Modi.
"I feel that as a nation, we owe it to them to give them hope for a robust future after the unimaginable tragedy that has befallen them," the Congress leader had said. (ANI)