Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 27 (ANI): Under a newly launched scheme of the Odisha Government for orphans which entitles a child to Rs 1500 pension per month who lost his parents due to COVID-19, Nayagarh District Magistrate Dr Poma Tudu has gone all the way to a student's house to handover the pension money.
She said that Subhankar Parida who is a student of class nine and had lost both his parents to COVID 19, is among many children, not being aware of the scheme and have not yet come forward to avail of its benefits.
While speaking to ANI, Nayagarh District Magistrate Dr Poma Tudu said, "I had come to meet Subhankar Parida who is a student of class nine and had lost both his parents to COVID. The Government of Odisha has announced a pension of Rs 1500 for children who have lost their parents to the virus as per the Madhu Babu pension scheme. But not many people are aware of this. There are many children who are entitled to the benefits of the scheme but have not yet come forward to avail them. Our administration is identifying such children and reaching out to them."
"So I came here to hand over the pension money to this student and discuss his future education plans. I also assured him of the government and the administration's complete support for him throughout his education. We also inspected that the child is living comfortably with his relatives. We will do whatever needs to be done to ensure a better future of such children," she added.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday had launched "Ashirbad", a scheme for the education, health and maintenance of COVID orphans. Children who have lost their parents or the main earning person of the family on April 1, 2020, or after that due to COVID-19 will be covered under the scheme, said the CM office.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is committed to providing a safe environment for the overall development of these children who need special care in society.
The money will be deposited in the bank accounts of the family members/ surviving parents who have taken the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents. This support will continue until the child is 18 years. If a child is adopted, he or she will no longer be eligible to get assistance.
If the orphaned child is living in a child care institution he or she will get Rs 1,000 per month, which will be deposited in the child's bank account as a recurring deposit until the child reaches the age of eighteen years.
These children will get free medical benefits under the state government's Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana or will be included in the National or State Food Security Scheme. Children can also continue to attend the same school where they were studying before the death of the parent.
The government will help in the admission of the children in Adarsh Vidhyalaya or Central School and for higher education. Children will be supported under the state government's Green Passages scheme.
If the relative who has taken the responsibility of the child is eligible for a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, he or she will be sanctioned the house out of turn for the welfare of the child. Along with these benefits, these children will also be eligible for other benefits such as free student health insurance, etc. (ANI)