On 29th May, Government announced special schemes for kids who lost their parents due to covid-19.
The government issued the scheme after the supreme court on Friday said precious time was being lost as children orphaned, abandoned, and traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic were starving without food on the streets of this large country.
Such children should be identified and taken care of.
“Days are passing by without children getting any food… Hope you will understand [to the Centre and the State governments] the agony these children are undergoing on the streets… We do not know the age of these children starving on the streets or how many of them are there in such a large country,” a visibly anguished Justice L. Nageswara Rao, accompanied by Justice Aniruddha Bose on the Bench, said.
What is the scheme?
The government announced the scheme on Saturday that includes a corpus of Rs.10,00,000 till he or she turns 18. Children who have lost their legal Guardian, both their parents or alone surviving parent in these difficult times due to COVID-19 will be covered and supported under this scheme.
The Women and Child Development Ministry have stated there are 577 Covid orphans in the whole country.
It was decided at a meeting headed by the honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
How does the scheme work?
Once the child turns 18, he or she will be allowed to draw a monthly stipend from the corpus of Rs.10 Lakhs to meet his personal needs and higher education.
In the early ages, the government will associate the child with the school education. They will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or any private school as a day scholar.
If the child gets admission to a private school the fees would be paid through the PM CARES fund as per the norms under the Right To Education Act,2009. Expenses of uniforms, textbooks, and notebooks would also be covered through the PM CARES fund. Children in the age group of 11-18 years will also have the option to study in a residential school under the Central government such as Sainik School and Navodaya Vidyalaya.
The scheme is not just for the early years of a child rather it will also support him or her in his higher education through either scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees or educational loans where the interest on the loan will be paid by the PM CARES fund.
All children would be entitled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme with a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh, where the premium amount will be paid by PM CARES till a child turns 18. Pension for kin also announced by the Government for COVID-19 victims . Families who lost their sole earning member due to COVID-19 will be provided help and assistance by the government.
The pension scheme of the Employees State Insurance Corporation, applicable for employment-related deaths, is being extended to those who died due to COVID-19. The scheme will come into effect from March 24, 2020 to March 24, 2022.
Similarly, insurance benefits under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) under the Employees Provident Fund Organisation will be available, according to a press statement.