Reaching out to children orphaned by pandemic in Vizianagaram

Survey under way to identify and accommodate them in residential hostel, KGBVs

The pandemic graph may be showing signs of abatement, but the pain it has inflicted continues to haunt many, particularly the children who have been rendered orphans with the death of their parents.

There are many instances of children being left to the care of a single parent, with the sole breadwinner succumbing to the virus.

To reach out to such children, District Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal has directed Samagra Siksha Additional Project Director J. Vijayalakshmi to conduct a detailed survey to identify such orphans so as to accommodate them in the Urban Residential Uostel located in the Cantonment area in Vizianagaram.

At present, there are 79 boys in the hostel. It is expected to provide accommodation to 200 children in the 2021-22 academic year. The inmates can continue with their studies in the municipal schools located nearby.

“The survey is being taken up in all the 36 mandals. The principals of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidayalayas (KGBVs) have been advised to share details of the orphans in a couple of weeks,” Ms. Vijayalakshmi told The Hindu.

“The identified orphaned girls will be given admission in the KGBVs while boys will be accommodated in the Urban Residential Hostel. We will help the students excel in studies, sports and extracurricular activities. Special training programmes are being conducted for teachers to handle such children,” Ms. Vijayalakshmi said.

Children of single parents would also be given admission in the hostel, said P.K. Prakasha Rao, Director, Integrated Rural People Welfare Association.

“The hostel is a blessing in disguise for those who have lost their parents due to COVID-19. The children of HIV-affected patients, divorced parents, and those below the poverty line will also be admitted. We request the relatives of such children to contact us immediately,” said Mr. Prakasha Rao.

Alternative School coordinator M. Srinivasa Rao said that the library, playground, tuition facility, and nutritious food were some of the facilities available in the hostel.

“As suggested by the District Collector, we are appointing three tutors to clarify the doubts of the students. The children will be imparted education on a par with corporate schools,” said Mr. Srinivasa Rao.

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