Twin sisters Tripti and Pari, who lost both their parents due to the Covid-19 coronavirus, play with their toys at a relative’s home in Bhopal. Photograph: Gagan Nayar/AFP/Getty Images

A recent study of the true pandemic death toll in India estimates coronavirus deaths to be between 3.4 million and 4.9 million excess deaths.  While these estimates have shortcomings discussed here, the official death toll reported by the Indian government is likely to be extremely under-reporting actual deaths due to coronavirus.

In the wake of millions of deaths are thousands of orphaned children in poor and rural communities left even more vulnerable to the realities of child-trafficking, hunger, and forced marriage.  In this poignant article written by Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Manoj Chaurasia, the story of one family having lost both parents to COVID illustrates the sad reality for so many children. “There was barely a family in India left untouched by the virus, and with Covid hitting adults much worse than children, it has resulted in thousands becoming orphans in the past few weeks.” The article cites the “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), at least 1,742 children have lost both their parents to Covid, while 7,464 have lost one parent. But with the official coronavirus toll of more than 340,000 considered to be a vast undercount, it is highly likely the number of Covid orphans is far higher than any records will show.” Read the full article in the Guardian here.

The sad reality is the pandemic is leaving children in poor and rural communities even more vulnerable to the realities of child-trafficking, hunger, and forced marriage.  Please consider joining Yoga Gives Back in giving back to India, especially at this crucial time of need by supporting these critical programs for orphans with a donation.

YGB currently funds 32 children at Deenabandhu Home in Chamarajanagara, Karanataka. These children have absolutely no other place to go.  At this home, children receive loving care and high-quality education.  Watch this documentary below to see how your donation changes lives.  You can support one orphan for a year with a donation of $250.  Donate Here.