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Pradeep Singh

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced special Covid assistance for newspaper hawkers in the State. Under the scheme, each registered hawker will get an assistance of Rs 6,000.

More than 7000 registered hawkers in the State are likely to be benefitted by the assistance. The amount will be released from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The State will spend over Rs 4.35 crore to dole out the scheme.

Announcing the move, CM Naveen said the hawkers have been included in the social security scheme. He also praised the hawkers for working day and night without bothering for cold, rain, heat wave and Covid-19 infection.

"Even in the digital age, the demand for newspapers has not declined. You (hawkers) are the setu (bridge) between newspapers and readers. I am happy that more than 7000 hawkers have registered themselves. Each of you will get Rs 6000 as special Covid assistance," said the CM.

Earlier, the Odisha government had announced to provide social security benefits to newspaper hawkers in the State. The CM had said that all hawkers registered under the Odisha Unorganised Workers Social Security Board would be provided the benefits. 

As per the scheme, the family of a hawker will get an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh in case of accidental death and Rs 1 lakh for natural death. Hawkers, who become completely disabled due to accident, will be given Rs 1.5 lakh assistance. In case of partial disability, the loss of both the organs (loss of both limbs) will be given Rs 80,000 and that of those who have lost one organ (loss of one limb), Rs 40,000.

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