Children orphaned by Covid to receive monthly assistance under Ashirwad Yojana

Bhubaneswar, Jun 20 (FN Agency) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday launched “Ashirwad”, a new scheme for children who have lost their parents or the sole earning member of family in covid pandemic. As per the scheme while the children who have lost both of their parents would get a monthly assistance of Rs 2500, the children who have lost either father or mother would get an assistance of Rs 1500 per month. The Chief Minister directed officials to ensure that not a single child is deprived of the scheme.

Mr Patnaik said the government is working with commitment for overall development of the children who require special care of the society and to provide them a safe and secured environment. Under the Ashirwad Yojana children requiring special care would remain with their family members and relatives and the guardians will be encouraged to take proper care of them. The Chief Minister said the assistance money will be electronically deposited in the accounts of the relatives of the children every month who have lost both of their parents for their maintenance, educational and health care costs. The assistance will be provided till the child attains the age of 18. The assistance would be discontinued if anyone adopted the child before he or she attained the age of 18.

The Children would also get free treatment under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, the health insurance scheme of the state government and would also be covered under the national or state Food security scheme. The orphan children can pursue their education in schools where they were reading before the death of their parents. Arrangements for accommodation of children would be made if the relatives who take care of the children were residing in another village. If required assistance would also be extended for their study in Adarsha Vidyalaya, central school or in any school the standard of which matches with these schools. The District Collector will extend cooperation if the guardians want to get the children admitted in other schools. For higher education, the children will be given assistance under the green passage Yojana.

The Chief Minister said houses under the PMAY and Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana would be allotted out of turn to the custodians of the children if they are eligible for it in the larger interest of the children. Sishu Mangal Samiti, District Child Protection unit, Tahasildar and Police will coordinate with each other and take necessary steps for the protection of the property of the children. The district child protection unit will be in regular touch with the children and their guardians and keep a vigil on the welfare of the child. Assistance if needed would also be provided from the district child protection Yojana and Juvenile Justice fund . A sum of Rs 1,000 in the form of recurring deposit would be deposited in the accounts of the children every month till they attain the age of 18. If they stay in any child care home, the institution will take care of the children free of cost. If the child will be staying with any one of his surviving parents then Rs1500 would be deposited till he reached the age of 18. If the mother of the child was eligible for Madhubabu Pension, then steps would be taken to provide her widow pension. The children affected from April 2020 onwards will be eligible for the scheme. The list of such children would be prepared through the District Child Protection unit, Child line, Panchayat and block level committee, front line workers and civil society. The eligible children , their relatives or care takers could also apply to the District Child Protection Unit with a required death certificate to be covered under the scheme.