PM CARES National

Centre tells States to identify children orphaned by COVID-19

File photo shows twin sisters, who lost both their parents due to coronavirus, play with their toys at a relative home in Bhopal.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Central government has written to all States and Union Territories urging them to ensure identification of COVID-19 orphans and their registration on the online portal set up by it within 15 days.

The government has launched for enrolment of beneficiaries of the scheme under the PM CARES Fund announced for children who have lost both parents, or the lone surviving parent or the legal guardian or the adoptive parent. The scheme provides a financial assistance of ₹10 lakh to each child on reaching 23 years of age, apart from assistance with school education and health insurance. The scheme came into effect from March 11, 2020 and will be open until the end of the pandemic.

Also read: Government support for orphans sees varying progress

“I would request you to direct the District Magistrates [DMs] in your State to identify the children eligible for receiving support under the PM CARES for Children scheme and populate the portal with the details of eligible children to enable prompt assistance to them,” says the July 22 letter from the Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry, Indevar Pandey, to all Chief Secretaries.

Identification drive

The letter details the procedure for enrolment of eligible beneficiaries, which includes an identification drive to be conducted with the assistance of police, the District Child Police Unit and civil society organisations. Following this, the children have to be produced before a Child Welfare Committee, which will make its recommendations to the DM regarding the child.

Also read: Pandemic orphaned 1.2 lakh in India, over 10 lakh globally, says Lancet report

The DM may accept the recommendation of the CWC or seek a review. The decision taken by the DM on the eligibility of the child for the scheme will be final.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 11:43:43 AM |

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