32 Childcare centres in AP to look after Covid victim’s children

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Amaravati:  Perhaps, un-heard of setting up special centres to take care of those helpless children of Covid victims, was done by none other than the Andhra Pradesh government under the stewardship of Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

With alarming surge of the pandemic across the country, the Jagan Reddy government could identify the possible threat of contacting the virus or succumbing to it as constant, especially by the bread earners. In such difficult times, it would be wise on any responsible government to extend a helping hand to those families, whose children and their care and protection becomes equally challenging.

The state government has taken up that Herculean task and set up 32 Child Care Institutions (CCI) designated for those children whose parents/ guardians have either contracted the virus and need medical assistance, or who have lost their lives to it.

And, AP happens to be the first state to set up institutions of this nature, despite the number of children currently facing this plight in the state is significantly low. “Looking  deep into the future, the government  expected this is to be a potential threat on hand and came out with the idea of establishing these institutions well in advance as a lot of parents are testing positive together,” claimed an official at CMO.

The initiative was taken to ensure no child is abandoned for not receiving proper care and attention.  According to him, these institutions will provide food, shelter and education to the children. For assistance pertaining to these centres, two helpline numbers have also been set up, 181 and 1098 respectively, he added.

Krithika Batra, Director of Women Development, Child Welfare and Zonal Development, stated that ‘Any child or guardian in need of this assistance can contact these helpline numbers, post which the district level teams will be sent to the residence of the child and transport the child to the nearest Child care institution. Based on the preference of the child, they will be handed over either to the kinship care of a suitable guardian, or the child will be moved to the adoption framework. 32 child care institutions with all facilities and a dedicated team are ready to ensure these children in need for care and protection are given support from the government.’

Three siblings were recently rescued by a district team, as their father tested positive and is receiving treatment at a government hospital at Anantapur, their mother had tested positive as well and is currently taking medication for symptoms , their mother had hoped to send her children to their relatives in Hindupur, but failed as the relatives were reluctant. The district team placed these three children at the CCI, and they were checked upon by the DCPO, Childline District Coordinator personally.

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