Some BJP-ruled states on Saturday announced welfare schemes for those children who lost their parents due to Covid-19 pandemic. The states like Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat have also said that they will be providing financial assistance every month to the caretaker or guardian of every child orphaned due to coronavirus infection, for their education and skill development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too on Saturday announced a number of welfare measures for children who lost their parents to Covid-19 from the central government, including ensuring a corpus of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 18 and providing for their education.
Here are some states who announced such welfare schemes:
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has announced the "Chief Minister's Bala Seva Scheme" and said the scheme has been prepared on a suggestion from the Centre, for the care of orphaned children. “Under this scheme Rs 3,500 per month financial assistance will be given to the guardian, who is the caretaker of the child. Children below 10 years not having guardians will be put under child care institutions,” he said.
To provide quality education, children will be admitted to model residential schools like Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Kittur Rani Chennamma Residential Schools and Morarji Desai Residential Schools, he told reporters. He said free laptops or tabs will be given to children who have completed 10th standard, to provide them support for higher and vocational education.
For girls who have completed 21 years of age, Rs one lakh will be given for their marriage expenses, higher education and self-employment, he said, adding that for the overall development of the child, mentorship will be provided.
Stating that details are being worked out on how much it may cost, the CM said details of the scheme will be announced soon and all those affected will be provided these benefits. "…How much ever it may cost, we have decided to provide these benefits and are committed to it," he said.
Assam Chief Himanta Biswa Sarma also said, “The state government, for every orphaned child, will be doling out Rs 3,500 each month, of which Rs 2,000 will be borne by the Centre.” Sarma, while addressing a press conference, also said that the ones who have no extended family will be sent to residential schools or institutions, with the state bearing all their expenses.
The initiative, to be undertaken under a new programme – ‘Chief Minister’s Shishu Seva Scheme’ — will be launched on Sunday, marking seven years of the PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.
All such children, who have lost their parents to the pandemic, will be given vocational or skill-based training to ensure they get to earn a livelihood, Sarma said. “Children below ten years of age with no extended family will be taken care of by the government. They will be housed in one of the childcare institutions, and adequate funds will be provided for their upkeep and education.
“Orphaned adolescents, both girls and boys, will be sent to reputed educational institutes, where proper care and protection will be ensured,” the CM explained. The state government is currently exploring institutes where these children could put up — options ranging from Goalpara Sainik School, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya to Navodaya schools and other private establishments with hostel facilities, he underlined.
Girls who have reached marriageable age will be given a one-time financial package, Sarma said. “The government will provide 10 gm gold under Arundhati scheme, and an amount of Rs 50,000 to each such girl. It will also give a laptop or a tablet to every school- and college-going student, who have lost their parents to Covid-19 or post-Covid complications,” he said.
The scheme will be jointly implemented by the departments of social welfare and education, with deputy commissioners identifying and making a list of all such children and adolescents, Sarma said, pointing out that the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights will be tasked with the responsibility of monitoring its execution. “We are undertaking a large-scale vaccination programme, and making all efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, while provide adequate treatment to Covid patients. It is our moral and social responsibility to take care of the orphans,” the CM added.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched a welfare scheme for children who have lost either one earning parent or both parents to Covid-19. Under the ‘Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana’, the state government will provide financial assistance to a child’s guardian while those who do not have anyone to look after them will be sent to children’s homes, an official spokesperson said.
Launching the scheme here, Adityanath said the state government will take care of the upbringing and education of children orphaned by Covid-19. As part of the scheme, the government will provide a monthly financial assistance of Rs 4,000 to a child’s guardian or caretaker till he or she attains adulthood, the spokesperson said.
Children below 10 years who do not have any family member will be taken care of by the state government children’s homes. Currently, such homes are functional in Mathura, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Agra and Rampur, he said. A minor girl child will be housed in Kasturba Gandhi Girls (residential) Schools run by the government of India or children’s homes (girls) run by the state government. Currently, there are 13 such children’s homes in the state.
Apart from this, they will be taken care of in 18 Atal Residential Schools being set up in the state. The state government will also provide an amount of Rs 1,01,000 for the marriage of such girls.
The Haryana government has announced financial aid and other assistance for children who have lost their parents to CovidD-19. Sharing details of the ‘Mukhyamantri Bal Sewa Yojana’, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said this package will be given to rehabilitate and assist children below 18 years of age who have lost their both parents, a surviving parent, legal guardian or adoptive parents due to Covid-19.
The state government will give a monthly amount of Rs 2,500 per child as financial aid to the families taking care of these orphaned children, he said in an official statement here. This financial assistance would be given till the child turn 18, he said. Further, an amount of Rs 12,000 annually would also be deposited in the bank accounts of such children as other expenses till they reach 18 years of age and are pursuing education, he said.
The CM also announced that the state government would provide a financial assistance of Rs 1,500 per orphaned child per month to the child care institution for the upbringing of such children living there. At present, 59 childcare institutions are functional in Haryana. This amount will be deposited in the bank account as a recurring deposit and the maturity amount will be given on attaining the age of 21 years, while all other expenses will be borne by the child care institutions only, the chief minister announced. He said that in case of adolescent girls orphaned due to Covid-19, free residential education will be provided in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas to ensure their care and proper protection. “An amount of Rs 51,000 will be credited in accounts of all these girls under Mukhya Mantri Vivah Shagun Yojana and at the time of their marriage this amount along with the interest would be given to them,” announced Khattar. The CM also announced that a tablet will be given to such students studying in VIII to XII standard and those enrolled in vocational courses.
The Gujarat government has announced a host of relief measures including monthly financial assistance for the children who have lost both their parents to Covid-19. Announcing `Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana’, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said such children will get Rs 4,000 per month till they turn 18.
If they continue studies, they will get assistance of Rs 6,000 per month till they turn 21. This stipend will continue during higher studies too, Rupani said in a live webcast. All types of undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be considered valid for availing benefit under this scheme, the chief minister said.
Such orphaned children will also get priority in various government schemes offering scholarships within India and abroad irrespective of income criteria, he added. The Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana scheme was being launched by the state government on the eve of the completion of seven years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, he said.
(with inputs from PTI)