This initiative entails that the children will be able to withdraw the amount along with interest, once they turn 21.
As an attempt to provide relief to the misfortunate children orphaned by the ongoing pandemic, the Maharashtra government has announced a welfare scheme for them. Under this program, all kids who lost any one or both of their parents to Covid-19 will be provided financial aid worth ₹5,00,000, through a fixed deposit. Decided by the state cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister, this initiative entails that the children will be able to withdraw the amount along with interest, once they turn 21.
Three different categories of orphaned kids to be benefitted
As per reports, the Women and Child Minister apprised that beneficiaries will be helped under three categories. Firstly, kids up to the age of 18, who have lost both their parents to Covid after March 1, 2020, will receive the grant. Secondly, children who have lost one parent to Covid post-March 1,2020 and the other parent to some different disease thereafter will be benefitted. Thirdly, children who had lost a parent prior to the stated date and now, stand orphaned after losing the other to Covid will be eligible for getting the monetary aid.
It is noteworthy that a similar scheme has been announced by the central government and this state scheme would add to its benefits. In order to prepare a comprehensive list of beneficiaries, district-level task forces have been formed which will accumulate information about such children orphaned by the pandemic. These groups shall operate under the leadership of the district collectors.
The government envisions to provide a nurturing family-like environment to these kids, so that they lead healthy life with sufficient development prospects. Additionally, the state government will make sure that such children are forced into labour, trafficking and other illicit activities.
Monthly grant for caretakers and free education for orphans
As per reports, the government has also said that the caretakers of such children will be provided with a financial assistance of ₹1,125 to look after them. Further, the state would bear all educational expenses of this child till he/she turns 21, reportedly.
If there is nobody to take care of the child, then he/she will be shifted to a children's home and the fixed deposit amount would be jointly deposited in the kid's name and the District Women and Child Development Officer. Given the extensive approach adopted by the government, it can be expected that the future of the orphans stands safeguarded.
- With inputs from IANS