Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday launched ‘Ashirbad’ scheme aimed at providing financial assistance to Covid-19 orphaned children. Children, whose one or both parents have died due to Covid-19, will be able to benefit from this scheme.
Under the scheme, monthly financial assistance of Rs 2,500 will be given to children who have lost both their parents or their single-parent to Covid-19. Similarly, Rs 1,500 per month will be given to those who have lost an earning parent.
The policy will come into force with retrospective effect from April 1, 2020, a notification issued by the state government stated.
The amount will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of either the guardians or caretakers of the orphans till they attain the age of 18 years. However, the financial assistance will not be extended in case a child is adopted by someone, the notification clarified.
In case of orphaned children staying at childcare centres, an amount of Rs 1,000 per month will be directly deposited into their bank accounts, as a recurring deposit, till they attain 18 years of age.
Moreover, the orphaned beneficiaries will be included under the state government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) for availing free healthcare services and a food security scheme run by the state government or the Centre.
The state government will facilitate continuation of their education at respective schools. If required, assistance will be provided for their study in Adarsh Vidyalayas and Central Schools, the notification added.
Further, the orphaned children will be assisted to pursue higher education under ‘Green Passage’ scheme of the government.
Notably, district child protection units (DCPUs), Childlines, block and panchayat level committees and frontline workers will identify such children and prepare a list accordingly. The guardians and caretakers can also directly approach DCPUs with death certificate of the parents in order to avail the benefits announced under Ashirbad scheme.