Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday launched a scheme to provide financial assistance for children who lost their parents or the sole earner of their family on or after April 1, 2020.
The details of the scheme named ‘Ashirbad’ are as follows:
—Children who have either lost their parents or the sole earners of their family on or after April 1, 2020, will be eligible for financial assistance.
—These eligible recipients are divided into three categories.
1. Children who have lost both parents
2. Children who have lost a single parent
3. Children who have lost the sole earner (either father or mother)
—The government will provide a monthly sum of Rs 2,500 for the education, health and maintenance of each orphaned child. The amount will be electronically credited to the bank accounts of their kin who will take charge of their responsibility.
—The monthly assistance will be provided till the children attain 18 years. However, there will be no assistance if any person adopts these children.
—If any orphaned child prefers to stay in a child care institution, a monthly amount of Rs 1000 will be deposited in his/her bank account as a recurring deposit till he/she attains 18 years of age. The child care institution will bear the other expenses.
—If a child has lost either his/her sole earning father or mother and is staying with any one of them, a monthly amount of Rs 1500 will be deposited in the bank account of either his living father or mother or his/her own account till he/she attains 18 years of age. However, there will be no financial assistance if the child is adopted by any person.
If the surviving mother is eligible for Madhu Babu Pension Yojana, she will be entitled to widow pension. Besides, both the child the widowed mother will avail the benefits under the national or state food security scheme.
—The orphaned children will be provided free health care facilities under Biju Swasthya Bima Yojana and Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.
—The orphaned children needing special care will be included either in the national or the state food security programme.
—The orphaned children, who were studying in the schools prior to the death of their parents, will be allowed to continue their education in the same schools.
—If the guardians have taken the responsibilities of the orphaned children and staying at other places, arrangements will be made to continue the education of these children in the schools in their locality.
—If necessary, arrangements will be made to facilitate the children to pursue their education in the Adarsha Vidyalayas, Central schools or any other schools at par with the standards of these two schools.
—The guardians are willing to shift the orphaned children to other schools, the district collector will assist them under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
—For the higher studies of the orphaned children, the state government will provide financial assistance under the Green Passage scheme.
—If the guardians are eligible for the Pradhan Matri Awas Yojana or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, the state government will approve the house for them on an out-of-turn basis. Besides, if they are eligible for other government schemes, they will get the benefits on an out-of-turn basis.
—For the protection of properties of the orphaned children, the Child Welfare Committee, District Child Protection Unit, the tehsildars and the local police will take necessary steps with proper coordination among them.
—The District Child Protection Unit will constantly remain in touch with the guardians and keep an eye on the orphaned children. Besides, these will also get necessary assistance under the Biju Sishu Suraksha Yojana and the Juvenile Justice Fund.
The District Child Protection Unit, Childline, panchayat and block level committees will identify the orphaned children through the frontline workers and civil society members and prepare a list.
To avail of the benefits of the Ashirbad scheme, the eligible children or their guardians can apply to the District Child Protection Unit with the death certificates of the parents.
To ensure that no orphaned child will be deprived of the new scheme, the Chief Minister directed the district collectors to launch a special drive every year to identify these children.