Bhubaneswar: On Father’s Day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced the Ashirbad Scheme, under which his Government will provide monthly financial assistance to the children orphaned due to Covid-19 pandemic.
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 the society.
The Ashirbad Scheme will encourage the guardian, relatives and their caregivers to take proper care of the children, he said.
Under the Scheme, those who lost their parents or earning a father/mother on or after 1 April, 2020 due to Covid-19 will get financial assistance along with other benefits.
All such children under distress are divided into three categories. The kids, who have lost both of their parents, those who have lost either father or mother and the children who lost the main earning member of the family due to the virus.
The children who have orphaned due to Covid will get an assistance of Rs 2500 per month while Rs 1500 per month to those who have lost earning parent due to Covid-19.
The amount will be transferred to the bank accounts of the guardians or caretakers of the orphans till they attain the age of 18 years. The assistance will not be provided, if someone adopts the child.
If a child has lost either his father or mother who was the only earning member and is now staying with the surviving parent, the Government will provide Rs 1500 per month for his maintenance. The amount will be deposited in either his or his parent’s account. Besides, if the surviving parent is mother, she will be covered under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana.
Similarly, if a child does not stay with a relative and is admitted in any childcare institution, Recurring Deposit (RD) of Rs 1000 per month will be made till he is 18 years of age.
Patnaik said his Government will facilitate continuation of their education at their respective schools. If required, assistance will be provided for studying in Adarsh Vidyalayas and Central Schools.
In case the relative who has taken responsibility of a child resides somewhere else, the concerned District Collector will provide all assistance for admission of the children as per the Right to Education Act. Moreover, the children will be assisted for higher education under the Green Passage Scheme of the State Government, he said.
He said that the children can also get financial assistance from Biju Sishu Suraksha Yojana and Juvenile Justice Fund if necessary.
Besides, if the relative who has taken responsibility of a child is eligible for a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY), allotment will be made on an out of turn basis. If the relative is eligible for any other welfare scheme of the Government, he/she will be given priority.
The Child Welfare Committee of the District will coordinate with the local Tahasildar and Police to protect the property of the orphan children.
Moreover, the children covered under the scheme will be provided free treatment under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna. They will also be included either in the National Food Security Scheme or State Food Security Scheme.
The District Child Protection Units, Childline, Block and Panchayat level Committees and frontline workers will identify such orphan children and prepare a list. The guardians/ caretakers can also approach DCPUs with a death certificate to avail benefit under the Scheme.
The Chief Minister has asked concerned officials to take necessary steps so that a single beneficiary will not be excluded from the scheme. Every year Collectors of all the districts will launch a special drive to identify the real beneficiaries.