An application has been filled in the Hon’ble Supreme Court seeking for directions to provide appropriate medical treatment and facilities to the girls who have been tested positive for COVID-19 in a shelter home in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The application was filed by Amicus Curie Aparna Bhat, in the matter regarding Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu.
The Application was filed after the National Human Rights Commission took suo moto cognizance of media reports that 57 minor girls tested positive for COVID-19 at a state-run children’s shelter home in Kanpur. Five other girls were also found to be pregnant and one was HIV-positive too.
The Application also demands to have a regular update on their health condition as well as directions to the Centre to issue an advisory to all Child Welfare Committees “to ensure that children who are being newly admitted into any Child Care Institutions (CCIs) are suitably quarantined before allowing them to be placed in CCIs and the necessary resources for the same be allocated by the Union of India as an interim measure to meet the extraordinary requirements of the pandemic”.
Further, the application also prays for directions to the Centre to immediately set up homes where these children can be quarantined and also to ascertain who is in need to be quarantined as their travelling history cannot be accessed.
It has further been averred that directions passed by the Apex Court in Re: Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in Children Protection Homes [Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4 of 2020] in an Order dated 03.04.2020, with respect to measures to be taken by Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, CCIs and Governments have also not been followed.
In light of the above, the Application has been filed to emphasize on the urgent need for medical treatment and facilities to the be provided to the girls in Kanpur, while suggesting other directions that must be taken by the institutions.