In a major development, the Odisha government on Monday announced that it will provide free education to all the children orphaned by Covid-19.
The orphaned children will be included in the Green Passage Scheme of the State government which was earlier implemented to provide free higher education to orphans.
The scheme covers the costs of admission, tuition, examination and laboratories of the orphaned children for medical, engineering education and other technical educations.
“For higher education, there is green passage scheme of the government. Be it medical, engineering or any technical education, the government will bear all the expenses of the children orphaned by Covid-19. If the orphaned kid is studying in any private institution, the government will bear the costs as well,” said advisor to Women and Child Development department, Sulata Deo.
“At present orphaned children are getting Rs 2000 pension. We are planning to implement the same for Covid orphaned,” she added.
Meanwhile, Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability Minister Ashok Panda said his department has received a list of 35 children orphaned by Covid-19.
“Those who have lost both parents will be included in Madhu Babu Pension scheme. Besides, women widowed by Covid-19 will be immediately included in the pension scheme,” Panda said on the sideline of a relief distribution programme in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
He said the beneficiaries will be given advance pension for the months-June, July and August. He added that the beneficiaries will not have to visit pension distribution centres to collect the money. Government officials will visit the houses of the beneficiaries and hand over the cash.
The Minister further said the government has planned to rehabilitate beggars in Sambalpur, Puri and Bhubaneswar. “We have approved construction of three shelter homes for beggars in Bhubaneswar by the BMC. Special provisions will also be made for their skill development,” he added.