The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Government that relief under the PM Care for Children scheme should reach the children orphaned due to Kovid-19 immediately. The court has said this because out of the list of 4848 applications under this scheme started on May 29, only 1719 beneficiaries have got the benefit.
The Supreme Court has asked the NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Care) to suggest to all the states and union territories for resettlement of street children. The Supreme Court has directed all the states to immediately identify the street children and give their data to the NCPCR. The Supreme Court has directed the DMs and DCs to ascertain the educational status of such children who can be given benefits under the PM Cares Fund. The next hearing of the case in the Supreme Court will take place on November 30.
The court was informed by the NCPCR through an affidavit filed by advocate Swaroopma Chaturvedi that states and union territories have been directed to share information regarding street children. who are either living alone or with families on the streets and spend the night in the slums.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai said, “We want the benefit of this to reach every child.” As of now, we are shooting arrows in the dark.” The court directed the Center to file an affidavit in two weeks detailing the steps taken under the scheme along with information about the educational status of these children. The order came in a suo motu petition where the court is considering relief for children who need care and protection due to COVID-19.
Amicus Curiae Gaurav Agarwal told the court that two lakh children are living on the streets in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. 70 thousand children are living on the streets of Delhi. Amicus Curiae Gaurav Aggarwal said that no state has yet filed an affidavit regarding resettlement of street children.
At the same time, ASG Natarajan said that this is the figure of only four states, other states have also started identifying them. This figure can be from 15 to 20 lakhs. The Supreme Court asked whether these four states will also collect the data of children living on the streets in their own right or will work with this figure. Natarajan said these figures are only for 10 cities. States will initiate the process of identification of children. On behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, ASG Aishwarya Bhati told that in a week the data of children will be uploaded on the portal.
The Supreme Court said, “Preference will be given to the children living on the street. There should be no delay in this. You ask your officers to work on it like it was done for the children who were orphaned during Corona”.