Pradeep Singh

The first and second wave of COVID-19 have so far orphaned 35 children in Odisha. While some have lost their mothers or fathers, the cruel pandemic has taken both the parents away from the others.

In the midst of the pandemic, the State government has launched the 'Green Passage' scheme with a view to provide some succor to the Covid-19 orphans in Odisha. Besides, both the Centre and the State government have launched pension schemes for such children. 

An auto driver, who had lost his wife to Covid last year, succumbed to the infection this year leaving a family of six to the mercy of destiny. He was the sole bread-earner for them. 

He is survived by a minor daughter and two sons. His father and mother are yet to recover from the massivd loss. 

Father of the deceased, Sukhdev Nath said, " We don't know how the children will survive. It has been a nightmare for us." 

Bhadrak Collector Gyana Das said that the administration will look into the financial condition of the family. Besides, the district administration is finding out options to help the hapless family tide over the immediate crisis, Das added.

Another such COVID orphan is one -year-old Misti who has lost her parents to the virus. She is now being taken care of by her mother's sister. 

"Both my sister and brother-in-law succumbed to COVID. We are now worried about the future of their only child," said Swapnamai Dehuri.

Meanwhile, Angul collector Siddharth Swain said that all the benefits, as announced for the Covid orphans by the State and Central governments, will be ensured for the little child.