COVID-19 and Children and the Supreme Court of India
The Covid-19 Quandary-
The coronavirus upsurge that affected the whole world, children worldwide too are among its biggest victims.
Although all children of all ages and in all countries have been impacted by the harmful effects of the pandemic but the most affected are the children from the economically weaker section and poorest neighbourhoods.
The extreme financial loss pushing more households into poverty –
As many families in India and globally lose their sources of income due to coronavirus plunging not only the national but global economy into recession, have resulted in numerous households falling into monitory poverty.
The situation is extensively dire for the poorest families.
The global social-economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has pushed nearly 142 million more children into poverty in poor households in developing countries by the end of the year 2020 according to projections as of November 2020 which besides health and other requirements, most importantly has impacted their education.
Meanwhile, a recent decision of the Supreme Court of India concerning providing free internet to the poor students was by the bench last week.
The Supreme Court of India has stayed a Delhi High Court judgement on previous week’s Wednesday directing private schools in Delhi to provide free internet and electronic gadgets to children from disadvantaged and economically weaker section studying in private unaided schools taking into consideration the COVID-19 crisis.
It was held by the Delhi High Court that poor children from the underprivileged sections were entitled to such benefits in order to protect their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India under the Right to Education Act.
A notice on the special leave petition filed by the Delhi government challenging the High Court has been issued by the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.A Bobde.
Prima facie the Supreme Court bench agreed with the Delhi government that the High Court should not have entered into a policy decision of the state.