New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has launched a helpline number to address the needs of those children who have been left orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement said on Friday.Also Read - There Should Not Be Any Political Bickering With Centre: Supreme Court Tells Delhi Government

The number (+91 9311551393) will also address the concerns of those children whose parents are hospitalised or who are facing any other distress, it added. Also Read - Delhi L-G Anil Baijal Tests Positive For COVID-19, In Home Isolation

A panel of counsellors is being constituted to address the anxiety, loneliness and trauma of the children in such situations. Also Read - AAP MLA Shoaib Iqbal Demands President's Rule in Delhi Over COVID-19 Situation

DCPCR chairman Anurag Kundu will keep a close watch and ensure that the issues raised by the callers are addressed within 24 hours, the statement said.

“Children are the most vulnerable in these testing times as they remain dependent on others to provide for them. The panel is receiving numerous cases wherein a child has lost all sources of support and is in need of immediate care. The commission is committed to resolving all such cases in less than 24 hours,” Kundu said.

The DCPCR intervenes within 24 hours on all SOS calls on the helpline. These include arranging for medicines, shelter or essential supplies of food, clothing etc. In some cases, the DCPCR has received SOS calls informing it that a child has lost both the parents to COVID-19. In another case, a child lost one parent and the other was in hospital. These situations render the children vulnerable, traumatised and in a state of panic.

In another case, the commission received two children who lost both parents within a day. The panel, by coordinating with NGOs, interacted with the children and counselled them. The relatives and neighbours are taking care of the children now, while the commission has been checking on them everyday, it said.

In another case, two children lost their father to the viral disease and there was no support for them, the statement said.

The commission intervened to support in the process of cremation and provided immediate medical assistance to the children while the relatives arrived in a few hours. The commission ensured both the children were also tested for COVID-19, it said.