The Supreme Court has directed all the States and Union Territories to identify the children living on the footpaths and provide that data to the NCPCR.
Apart from this the bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice B R Gavai while hearing the suo moto case “In re contagion of Coronavirus in children protection homes” directed the District Magistrates of all the districts to find out the educational status of those children and produce the data who can be given benefit under PM Care Fund.
During the hearing, Justice Rao said that the children living on the footpath need to be given prime attention. There should not be any delay in this matter. The court further asked the states to ask the officers to work for these children in the same way as was done for the children who got orphaned during Corona.
Gaurav Aggarwal, amicus curiae in the present matter has submitted before the Court that two lakh children are mapped only in 4 States (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra) including 10 cities only (Pune, Nasik, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chandauli, Agra, Pryagraj, Culcutta, Hawra and Delhi) living on the streets. He further submitted that seventy thousand children are living on the streets of Delhi only.
He further submitted that the states are required to start the process of identifying the children in street situations and upload the data on the portal and complete the process of producing children before the CWC rescue and rehabilitation. There is hardly any positive steps that have been taken by the states to identify and produce the children.
ASG Natarajan has submitted that this figure of 2 lakh will enhance to 15-20 lakhs if other states also start identifying them.
The court asked the Center whether these four states will also collect the data of children living on the streets in their own right or will they work with this figure?
ASG Natarajan said that these figures are for only 10 cities. We will start the process of identification of such children in all the states.
On behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, ASG Aishwarya Bhati told that we will upload the data of such children on the portal in a week.
Advocate Shobha Gupta appearing on behalf of the 2 children seeking relief regarding school expenses under the PM care fund has prayed to the Court to call them as “Children in need of care and protection” instead of children in distress.
The court accepted the prayer and ordered to make amendments accordingly.