The pandemic time had taken a toll on every individual, but one category of people it has left particularly helpless were the children who lost their parents to the pandemic. Bringing a tiny ray of hope into their lives, the Odisha Government decided to support the children with financial assistance until they turned 18. On March 24, the Government conveyed that they would be providing financial aid to 50,952 children who lost both their parents or one of them due to COVID-19. Of the total number, they have been able to identify 108 children who lost both their parents, and they will be receiving ₹2,500 each under the "Ashirbad" scheme.
Information regarding the financial aid was announced by the Women and Child Development Minister Basanti Hembram at the assembly. Hembram noted that "the amount is deposited in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries or family members" as a part of the assistance provided under the Ashirbad scheme. The scheme is a commitment from the Government's end to bring positive development in the life of the children impacted by COVID-19, reported NDTV.
Enabling Family-Based Environment
The financial aid would look into the rehabilitation and continuation of the children's life after the unexpected loss of their parents. For this, the Government would be enabling a similar family-based non-institutional socio-cultural environment, wherever feasible, in the best interest of the child. The financial aid would ensure that the children's caregivers and near ones have the provision to care for the children and provide them with the best facilities.
Under the scheme, children who lost one parent (usually the breadwinner of the family) will be paid ₹1,500 per month. Orphans residing in a childcare institution will be paid ₹1,000 per month, and they can attain this assistance until the age of 18 years In this way, the government ensures a cushion of security for the children till they can secure a job and fend for themselves.
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