Special Correspondent

Government gives them Rs.1,000 a month for six months

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on Wednesday distributed financial aid to 25 pregnant women under the Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Financial Aid Scheme for pregnant women.

The State Government gives Rs.1,000 each month for six months to pregnant women three months ahead of delivery and three months after realising the importance of providing rest and good nutrition to them. The monetary assistance is to compensate them for the loss of wages during delivery.

The scheme is being implemented from September 15 and so far, about 1.22 lakh women have received the assistance, says a release. The Government proposes to give the aid under this scheme to 2.11 lakh women and has set apart Rs.100 crore for the purpose. For Chennai, an outlay of Rs.7.32 lakh has been provided and 12,206 poor women will benefit.

Overwhelming response

The marriage assistance scheme of the Government, Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Ninaivu Thirumana Nidhi Uthavi Thittam, has received overwhelming response and the Chief Minister has sanction increase in outlay from the earlier Rs.50 crore to Rs.60 crore.

The number of severely handicapped persons receiving financial aid has been increased from 8400 to 10,000. They are receiving Rs.200 a month as aid. This has been increased to Rs.500 a month from the current year, costing the Government an additional Rs.1crore a year.

The Government has also announced an increase in age limit to obtain financial aid for the Widow Remarriage Scheme. The earlier age limit was 30. A press release said that taking into consideration the fact that widowed women beyond 30 were also getting married, the scheme has been extended to include women up to 35 years of age.

Considering the large number of applicants seeking assistance for inter-caste marriages, the Government has increased the outlay by Rs.1 crore.

The Chief Minister has also given his consent for the appointment of an additional 30,000 workers in anganvadis on an early date.

Houses for tsunami victims

As of November 15, the total number of houses built for the tsunami affected was 16,514. A total of 54,087 units are planned. Only about 8,406 were built till June this year and the works were speeded up following a meeting the Chief Minister had with the Collectors of the tsunami-affected districts.

By March 2007, the Revenue department expects to complete building 30,806 houses. The Slum Board will build 19,108 tenements with World Bank aid.

Non-governmental organisations have not been able to build 2,671 houses.

The areas where these houses are to be built will be ascertained and the Government will assume the responsibility of building them. An additional Rs.63 crore has been provided for building 3,000 homes at a cost of Rs.2.1 lakh per house. Mr.Karunanidhi examined a silk saree in his chamber that depicts the seven wonders of the world and has employed 1,64,492 shades. It costs Rs.40,000.