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CM announces Ashirbad Scheme for Covid orphans

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced Ashirbad scheme to provide monthly financial assistance and other befits to the children orphaned due to prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

The State government is committed to providing a safe environment for the overall development of these children who need special care of the society, Patnaik said. The Ashirbad scheme will encourage the guardian, relatives and their caregivers to take proper care of the children, he said.

Under the scheme, who lost their parents or earning father/mother on or after April 1, 2020 due to Covid-19 will get financial assistance along with other benefits.

As per the announcement made by the CM, the children who have orphaned due to Covid-19 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 child has lost either his father or mother who was the only earning member and now staying with surviving parent, the Government will provider Rs 1500 per month for his maintenance. The amount will be deposited in either in 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 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 model school 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 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 out of turn basis. If the relative is eligible for any other welfare scheme of Government, he/she will be given priority.

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 Chief Minister has asked concern 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.