Sonia urges PM to give free education to children who lost parents in pandemic

They are left with ‘the trauma of loss and no support towards a stable education or future’, she points out

Published - May 20, 2021 03:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide free education to the children whose parents died of COVID-19, in the Navodaya Vidyalayas.

In a letter to Mr. Modi on Thursday, she highlighted the plight of the children who either lost both the parents or an earning parent during the pandemic. They were left with “the trauma of loss and no support towards a stable education or future”, she pointed out.

“Amidst the devastation caused by the pandemic and the heart-wrenching tragedies being faced by affected families, news of young children losing one or both parents to COVID-19 are the most poignant,” she said.

‘Unimaginable tragedy’

“I am writing to request you to consider providing free education at the Navodaya Vidyalayas to the children who have lost either both parents or an earning parent on account the Covid-19 pandemic. Feel that as a nation, we owe it to them to give them hope for a robust future after the unimaginable tragedy that has befallen them,” she wrote.

The Navodaya Vidyalayas are CBSE-affiliated co-educational residential schools in which talented students of Class VI to XII, after clearing a selection test, are offered free education, including text books, school uniforms and hostel facilities.

Ms. Gandhi described the Navodaya Vidyalayas among the most significant legacies of her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, and noted that there weree as many as 661 such schools across the country.

“It was his dream [Rajiv Gandhi] to make high-quality modern education accessible and affordable to talented youth, predominantly from rural areas,” she stated.

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