The second wave of the deadly coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in the country. The pandemic is breaking families, destroying lives. Media reports have shown heart-breaking stories of loss and grief. One such horror story has been reported from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Two girls, aged six and eight, were orphaned after their parents and grandparents succumbed to Covid-19 in a span of 12 days. Panic has now gripped the residential complex in Ghaziabad where the two girls stayed with their parents.
The first case in the family was detected after the grandfather of the minor girls tested positive for Covid-19 in April. Durgesh Prasad, who lived with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law in Ghaziabad, was a retired school teacher who was an active social worker.
When Durgesh Prasad tested positive, he isolated himself at his home and was taking medicine, as prescribed.
Things, however, took a turn for the worse when the other three adult members also tested positive for Covid-19. On April 27, the condition of Durgesh Prasad deteriorated and he passed away.
Around a week later, Durgesh’s son Ashwin died of Covid-19.
Before the two women of the family could come to terms with what had struck them, Durgesh Prasad’s wife also passed away. And on May 7, his daughter-in-law died, leaving her two daughters behind.
Shocked and in panic after the tragedy in the family of Durgesh Prasad, residents of the Ghaziabad society alleged that all four members died because of lack of medical facilities. They believe the family could have been saved had there been medical intervention on time.
The two girls, meanwhile, have been sent to their aunt in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, amid a rise in such cases of children being orphaned due to the pandemic, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairman Prashant Kanungo has said that the NCPCR has sent letters to all state chief secretaries and the state Child protection Commissions to ensure children are protected as per provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 Act.
As per the Act, any child, who loses their parent, cannot simply be adopted or taken care of by an NGO or any person. Even for family members, there is a clear process in place under the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act) before they can assume guardianship of the child.
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