Orphaned and with ‘nothing to eat’ during Covid: Five siblings under 10 wait for help in MP

Naveen Bharat Editorial

BHOPAL: Five orphaned siblings in Bhind district are praying to the Madhya Pradesh government for some kind of assistance, seven months after they lost their father and five months after they lost their mother.

Three sisters and two brothers, who are below 10 years of age, belong to Valmiki caste who fall in SC category and live in Amaha village. Missing ID cards and other documents prove to be a hindrance for them when it comes to getting help.

The eldest daughter, seven, said she lost her father Raghavendra Valmiki, an auto driver, in January and two months later her mother died in Orai.

Sources in the gram panchayat claim that the couple probably died due to complications related to Kovid. Three months ago, Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to announce welfare measures for orphans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five siblings have been living with their grandfather in a partially damaged hut near the cremation ground since they were orphaned. They are forced to take shelter under tin sheds when it rains.

The eldest daughter, who is taking care, said, “Our parents died during coronavirus. We have nothing to eat. Some villagers are helping us with food and milk. They told us We have also provided clothes. We are requesting the government to help us.” All her siblings, including an eight-month-old baby.

Read also | COVID-19: Over one lakh children need care and protection, NCPCR tells SC

Confirming the death of the parents of five siblings during the COVID pandemic within three months earlier this year, gram panchayat secretary Ashok Parasar admitted that the authorities would not be able to secure any benefits announced for Covid orphans. were unable to.

“He does not have any valid identity card or residential proof. Even we could not help him in time. Only after local Congress MLA and former minister Dr. Govind Singh saw him during his recent visit to the village. The process has started.” Parasar said.

“We have already generated their Aadhar cards and are in the process of preparing other documents. Dr. Govind Singh has assured that once all the documents are ready, all the benefits under Below Poverty Line (BPL) schemes will be given to the five siblings. Will be received,” Parasar said.

According to the information, the former minister had recently given Rs 2000 to the children and asked the village sarpanch and secretary to release Rs 10,000 each to the five siblings. Singh has also announced a grant of Rs 20,000 to orphans from his local area development fund. However, in the absence of a bank account, the monetary benefit could not be released.

According to Bhind District Collector Satish Kumar S, a team of Women and Child Development Department (WCD) had visited the village and completed social and family survey. The team has also counseled the grandfather of the children.

Bhind district collector said, “We are also trying to shift the children to a proper house and evidence is being collected to ascertain whether they are eligible for benefits under the COVID orphan scheme.”

Earlier this year in May, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a monthly pension of Rs 5000 for COVID orphan children, apart from free education and free ration every month.

On May 13, the CM had also announced that the surviving parents/guardians/relatives taking care of the orphan child would be given interest-free loans to start a business.

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