Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government announced Monday that it will provide free education to all children who are orphaned by the Covid-19 pandemic. As per information available from various government sources, so far 35 children in Odisha have lost both their parents due to Covid-19.
An official source said that the orphaned children will be included in the ‘Green Passage’ scheme of the state government. The scheme was earlier implemented to provide higher education free of cost to orphans in Odisha. However, now the entire expenses of education of Covid-19 orphaned children will be available through the scheme. Children studying in both schools and colleges and those who want to pursue medical, engineering and other courses will not have worry. The entire expenses for their education will be taken care of by the Odisha government.
The ‘Green Passage’ scheme covers the costs of admission, tuition, and examination fees of children those who want to pursue higher studies in the field of engineering, medicine and technology. However, for Covid-19 orphans the ambit of the scheme has been increased.
“For higher education, there is the ‘Green Passage’ scheme implemented by the Odisha government. However, in case of Covid-19 orphans, the scheme will be implemented to cover their education cost at all level. If the orphaned kid is studying in any private institution, the government will bear the costs as well,” advisor to Women and Child Development department Sulata Deo said Monday.
“At present orphaned children are getting a pension of Rs 2,000 per month. The same structure will be followed for Covid-19 orphaned children,” Deo added.
The state Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability department has received a list of 35 children orphaned by Covid-19, Minister Ashok Panda informed while briefing mediapersons.
Panda also informed that children who have lost both parents due to Covid-19 will be included in ‘Madhu Babu Pension’ scheme. Panda told reporters that beneficiaries will be given advance pension for the months of June, July and August.