Some of those deeply affected by COVID-19 happen to be children, unable to express, understand or cope. Sometimes all at the same time. In this hour of need, it's time to also refocus on children. Many have been rendered orphans and some are battling the virus themselves. Taking stock of the unfortunate situation, Whitefield Rising, a citizens' movement, is initiating a fundraiser to set up Quarantine Centres & Covid Care Centres for children touched by COVID.
"The continuing Covid crisis in India is a tragedy affecting every citizen of the country. Children most harshly of all. Several children whose parents/guardians are either hospitalised or have passed away due to COVID are in need of immediate care and protection," reads the post on its official Twitter handle. The fundraiser is to take care of capital and operational expenses for all four QC+CCC for four months.
What is the initiative and who all are behind it?
The initiative is a collaboration between Dream India Network (DIN), Motherhood Hospitals, Aahan Vaahan, Whitefield Rising, child welfare experts. While Rainbow Children's Hospitals will be the point of contact if any of the children need advanced care in the hospital setting. The initiative is also under the guidance and support of the Child Protection team (Child Welfare Committee) of the Government of Karnataka. The intention is to provide immediate and appropriate care to children affected and infected by COVID.
Infrastructure being set up
The thread goes on to inform about the facilities being set up. "The following are the arrangements we have planned: 3 Quarantine Centres for affected children, one separate for young kids, girls and boys. The centre will accommodate kids 6 to 18 years old. Children's Covid Care Centre, which will care for Covid infected children who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic."
The cost of the infrastructure
All four centres have the Fit Facility Certificate under Section 51(1) of Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015 from the Child Welfare Committee, Bengaluru, Urban. BBMP has given the health NOC for the CCC.
As per the information shared by the collaborators to the initiative, "The cost for Children's Covid Care Centre for infected children is approximately Rs 85 lakhs to Rs 1 crore to set up and operate it for 4 months. Cost for quarantine centre is approximately Rs 25 lakhs to set up and operate it for 4 months (total of Rs 75 lakhs)."
What can you, as a citizen, do
There are also many non-economic ways to be a part of the welfare initiative. Apart from donating, one can also keep an eye out for the children in need.
Since direct adoption is illegal and punishable, you can inform your nearest local police station or even inform the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) or the concerned State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. If you hear or read of children needing help, one can also dial 1098. Do not give away the child to just any person or organisation.