Odisha Government on Sunday announced a new scheme--‘Ashirbad’ under which children, who lost their parents to Covid-19 in the State, will be provided a financial assistance on a monthly basis.
According to the State government sources, the children who have lost both of their parents or single parents will be provided a monthly assistance of Rs 2,500 up to the age of 18. Similarly, the children who have lost either their fathers or mothers due to Covid-19 pandemic will be provided a monthly assistance of Rs 1,500.
The monthly assistance will be deposited to the bank account of the guardians or relatives by whom the beneficiary children are taken care of.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the 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.
The affected children from April 2020 onwards will be eligible for the scheme. 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 or state food security schemes. If the mother of the child is eligible for Madhubabu Pension Scheme, widow allowance will be approved for her.
The beneficiaries for the Ashirbad Scheme will be selected by district child protection units, childlines, panchayats and block level committees. The care takers or relatives of the eligible children could apply before DCPU with the required death certificate to include the beneficiaries in the scheme.
(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)