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NEW DELHI : A total of 645 children lost their parents to COVID-19 from April to May 28 this year during the second wave, the Women and Child Development Ministry said on Thursday.

In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani gave data on the children orphaned during the second wave of COVID-19.

According to the data, a total of 645 children lost their parents to Covid from April 2021 to May 28.

The highest number of such children was reported from Uttar Pradesh at 158 followed by Andhra Pradesh at 119, Maharashtra at 83 and Madhya Pradesh at 73.

The states and UTs have been jointly requested by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education to ensure continuity of education of the children who have lost their parents in the COVID-19 pandemic, while accommodating them under the various schemes being run by Department of School Education and Literacy, Irani said in a written reply.

She further said that the prime minister has announced a scheme to support the children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to the pandemic.

"The scheme provides support for education and health and will create a corpus of 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend form 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use," Irani said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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