The nationwide lockdown that has been imposed to control the spread of coronavirus infection has impacted the lives of millions of children.
India has the largest population of children in the world with 47.2 million children. 4 crore children from poor families have been the worst affected due to the nationwide lockdown. Daily lakhs of children across the country are calling the childline helpline and asking for help, while most of them have to sleep hungry.
These include children who work in the fields in rural areas and also those who do garbage picking in cities. Children who sell balloons, pens, pencils or begging at the crossroads are the most affected. The children worst affected are those who live on the streets, under flyovers and in the narrow streets in the cities.
During the lockdown everyone has been asked to stay indoors, but what about the children living on the street? Where do they go?
According to an estimate, about 70 thousand children live on the road of Delhi only. These children are mostly self-sufficient and feed themselves. Similarly, in other cities of the country also many children do beggary and other work. But today these children are also forced to be upset.
Statistics are also reaching the government regarding hunger for children, but despite this, the government is still not able to do much for these children. The lockdown started in India from 25 March, since that day, the number of calls to the 24-hour helpline issued for children has increased.
The helpline, which is active in 569 districts and 128 railway stations in India, receives thousands of calls daily with complaints about violence against children, missing children or runaway children. Officials say that the incoming calls are now linked to the pandemic. Callers, who are children or adults who call on their behalf, often ask for food.
In this situation of lockdown, the government should ensure food three times a day for these children. If these children do not die from the corona, they will die of hunger.