All precautionary steps being taken, says Minister Shashikala Jolle
In the wake of reports about a possible third wave affecting children, the State government is taking steps to set up Child COVID Care Centres in every taluk of the State so that timely treatment is made available to affected children, Minister for Women and Child Welfare Shashikala Jolle has said.
Speaking to presspersons after chairing a review meeting on preparedness to tackle a possible third wave in Dharwad on Wednesday, Ms. Shashikala Jolle said that all precautionary measures are being taken to prevent a third wave, if any, of the pandemic.
The Minister said that considering the need for children’s mothers to stay with them during treatment, arrangements are being made for the stay of such mothers at COVID Care Centres till treatment of their children is completed.
Apart from this, it has been decided to open paediatric wards in every hospital, including primary health centre, community health centre, taluk hospital and also district hospital, she said.
She said that Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and anganwadi workers will be deployed to assist shifting affected children to COVID Care Centres or the nearest hospitals, if required.
Mentioning that she had spent the last 15 days meeting children orphaned by the second wave of the pandemic in 20 districts of the State so far, Ms. Jolle said that the government will provide them free education and an allowance of ₹3,500 per month under the Chief Minister’s Bala Seva Yojana. Such children will get laptops and tablets after their SSLC and girls will get ₹1 lakh after attaining the age of 21. She also mentioned that that the government is in the process of identifying children with single parents and their names are being registered on the Bal Swaraj portal. According to an initial assessment, 52 children in the State have lost both their parents and 162 children have lost one of their parents.
The Minister, who lauded the work by ASHAs and anganwadi workers, said that the government is considerate about their demands and the Chief Minister will be requested to consider fulfilling their demands. Already, ₹30 lakh each has been paid to the families of 20 ASHAs and anganwadi workers, she said.
Earlier, the Minister accompanied by officials visited Kumbar Oni of Kamalapur in Dharwad to meet Shivaji Mallappa Garge (12) and Amruta (4), children orphaned by the pandemic. Their parents Kasturi and Mallappa Garge of Devaragudihal village in Hubballi taluk died of COVID-19 during the second wave. Shivaji and Amruta are at present staying with their maternal uncle Vithal Godse in Dharwad. The Minister told the children to study well to get a position in society and that the government will be there to help them.
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