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The coronavirus pandemic has taken a severe toll on thousands of lives in the past months, leaving people in a state of ensuing grief for the longest. One of the worst affected groups of people has been children, who lost one or both their parents to covid. The covid pandemic has seen a rise in the number of orphans across the country, thereby, a rise in crime against children. Amid such a time, a social worker from Dehradun has decided to adopt 100 children who have been orphaned during the pandemic.

Jai Sharma, founder of the city-bassed NGO JOY (Just Open Yourself) has already begun the campaign of adopting 100 children apart from the already 20 adopted ones. In one of the NGO’s Facebook posts, he said,”When the second wave of COVID-19 started, we encountered five such families in the initial two weeks where both the parents had died, and the child/children were left alone at home. A few of these children were of classes 4th-5th age group, one was in 12th, and the rest were small in age. At that moment, it hit our mind that this unfortunate scenario is inevitable, and we were to come across more such cases as the pandemic rose.”

He further added that to date they have been taking care of 20 children and their food, medicines, finances etc. Among them, only two are from Dehradun, while the rest are from other parts of the hills. “Within a week, we will be completing our target of adopting 50 children, followed by 100 children eventually. I, Jai Sharma from JOY, am there to support these children by any means possible, till the time they become self-sufficient!” it further added.

The team is constantly reaching out t various villages and the Gram Pradhaans of the same are in touch with them for helping out children who have been rendered orphans.

Sharma’s JOY has been actively working in providing the necessary support needed since the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NGO has been distributing free 24×7 oxygen cylinders with no additional charges. The team also distributed COVID medical kits, sanitization kits along other medical equipment to those in need, added the Facebook post.

In Delhi, over 2,000 children have lost either one or both their parents to the novel coronavirus infection, with 67 of them losing both their parents, since the pandemic outbreak in March last year, says a survey conducted by the DCPCR. According to the survey carried out by the Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), 651 children lost their mothers and 1,311 children lost their fathers to the infection.

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