New Delhi: With many children across the country losing their parents during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis that has hit India hard, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday issued an advisory to all the state governments and union territories to focus on vulnerable sections of society.
The government in a statement said that it has been giving high priority on preventing and combating crimes against vulnerable sections of society, including women, children, senior citizens and Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, and as well as for putting in place institutional mechanisms for preventing and countering human trafficking.
"Taking into account the impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic particularly on vulnerable groups, the MHA has again reiterated to States and Union Territories to focus on vulnerable sections, especially children who may have been orphaned due to loss of parents due to Covid-19," it said. It said that the MHA has asked states or union territories to undertake an immediate review of existing facilities for vulnerable groups, especially for children who have been orphaned, senior citizens who may require timely assistance and support (medical as well as safety and security), and members of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes who may need guidance to access government support facilities.
It also said that the MHA has requested states and union territories for sensitization of police personnel, coordination with various line departments or agencies concerned to effectively deploy the Women Help Desk in police stations and anti-human trafficking Units in districts.
The MHA said that the NCRB has released several tools to States and Union Territories to facilitate this activity, such as the Crime Multi Centre Agency (Cri-MAC) for police to share inter-state information; online National Alert Service for police on missing and found persons using the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), and an automated photo matching web-based application UNIFY that uses the Machine Learning model to enable police personnel to search photographs of missing persons, unidentified dead bodies etc. against the national image repository in the CCTNS.
The MHA has also requested the states or union territories to create greater awareness on the central citizen service for missing persons which is available online. "The MHA has also referred to the recent SOPs issued for safety of transgenders during Covid-19," it added.