“Children are often most affected by conflicts, epidemics, accidents, and their young minds are highly vulnerable, which in turn affects their personality development,” says psychiatrist Prasad Ojha. “The uneasiness they show in their behaviour when a family loses a member is called a neurotic disorder. ”
Orphaned children feel alone, insecure, are scared and angry, and often unable to sleep and have panic attacks. Depending on their personality, some like to be alone while others become restless.
“The family should keep the children busy, play together, develop a routine and make them follow it,” says Arun Kunwar, a psychiatrist at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu.
Child experts also recommend not telling children about financial stress in the family, or hiding the death of the parent. “If you lie to children, they will continue to wait for them causing further confusion and stress, which in turn can increase the risk of depression, running away, suicide attempts, and addiction,” adds Ojha.
The Children’s Act 2019/20 has a provision of a child rights committee at every province and local level in addition to a child welfare officer. It also stipulates establishing a child fund for immediate rescue, relief, rehabilitation of and compensation for children.
But less than 10% of local governments have abided by the Act, which means there are no reliable records about the condition and the number of orphans, homeless and needy children who need rescue and protection.