Ruling BJD MP Amar Patnaik on Wednesday urged Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to consider free admission in Kendriya Vidyalayas for children orphaned due to COVID-19.
The pandemic has broken families to such an extent that children as young as five-six years have been suddenly rendered orphaned, Patnaik said in a letter to Pokhriyal.
Many of them may also become homeless, penniless, without food, water and clothing. In several cases, they are too small to realise the full loss of parental support both in psychological and economical terms, the BJD national spokesperson said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already announced a number of support schemes, including free education and monthly pensions, for the children, the Rajya Sabha MP said.
The lawmaker urged Pokhriyal to consider giving free admission beyond any quota in any class and beyond any sanctioned number of seats in the Kendriya Vidyalayas to such children on humanitarian grounds.
Since the session is about to begin and the admissions are still going on, the usual process of the government to first collect the names from districts and states, and then allocating them to various schools may not be a smart move at this point of time as it would be time-consuming, he said.
A much more humane approach could be to allow these children to walk into any Kendriya Vidyalaya and take admission based on certificates of death of their parents due to COVID-19 or post-Covid complications, he added.