Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], June 20 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday launched "Ashirbad", a scheme for the education, health and maintenance of COVID orphans.
As per the official release by the Odisha CMO, children who have lost their parents or the main earning person of the family on April 1, 2020, or after that due to COVID-19 will be covered under the scheme.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is committed to providing a safe environment for the overall development of these children who need special care of society.
As per the provision of the scheme, Rs 2,500 per month will be provided to the children who lost both parents/ single parents and Rs 1500 per month to the children who have lost their father or mother who was the only earning member of the family and now staying the surviving parents. Besides, if the surviving parent is mother, she will also be entitled for the pension user State's Madhu Babu Pension Scheme.
The money will be deposited in the bank accounts of the family members/ surviving parents who have taken responsibility of the children after the death of their parents. This support will continue until the child is 18 years. If a child is adopted, he or she will no longer be eligible to get the assistance."
If the orphaned child is living in a child care institution he or she will get Rs 1,000 per month, which will be deposited in the child's bank account as a recurring deposit until the child reaches the age of eighteen years.
"These children will get free medical benefits under the state government's Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana or will be included in the National or State Food Security Scheme."
Children can also continue to attend the same school where they were studying before the death of the parent. The government will help in the admission of the children in Adarsh Vidhyalaya or Central School and for higher education. Children will be supported under the state government's Green Passages scheme.
If the relative who has taken the responsibility of child is eligible for a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, he or she will be sanctioned the house out of turn for the welfare of the child. Along with these benefits these children will also eligible for the other benefits such as free student health insurance, etc.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "The Child Welfare Committee will take necessary steps in coordination with the District Child Protection Unit, Tahsildar and the police to protect the property of the children."
The Biju Child Protection Scheme and the Juvenile Justice Fund can help these children where needed.
District child protection unit, childline and panchayat level committee, block committee will identify such children through frontline worker civil society and will prepare the list. (ANI)