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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a public interest litigation seeking welfare schemes for the education and living arrangement of the orphaned children. (Harpal Singh Rana vs UOI)
Notice to the Central Government and the Delhi Government was issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a petition preferred by one Harpal Singh Rana.
The Petitioner, who claims to be a social worker, had filed applications under the Right to Information Act to seek information regarding the existence of welfare schemes for the orphaned children in Delhi.
Based on the RTI replies, the Petitioner found that there was no uniform and concrete policy for the benefit of orphans.
"..a child named Mangal whose parents are deceased and they are seven siblings, he applied to Social Welfare Department and he was told that the department only provides Oldage pension, Disabled pension, financial assistance (under teh Delhi Family Benefit Scheme).", the Petitioner asserted.
The Court was further informed that when Mangal approached the Women and Child Development Department, it was said that the department had only two schemes, i.e, scheme for widows/ destitute females and scheme to give financial assistance to a widow for the marriage of her daughter and he came under the ambit of neither.
Citing other similar cases, the Petitioner submitted that unless a scheme is put in place to provide financial support to orphans or their guardians, the problems that these children are facing, especially during COVID-19, would not be eradicated.
In view of the above, the Petitioner has not only prayed for directions to the Respondents to submit a detailed scheme on providing education, financial assistance etc for orphans but has also sought quota for such children under the EWS category while applying for admission in schools.
The Petition was filed through Advocate Akhil Rana.
The matter would be heard next on July 2.