Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday announced financial assistance for the kin of teachers who died while on COVID-19 duty, a state minister said. The assistance will be given at the rate of the last pay drawn, along with dearness allowance as admissible from time to time, till the date of superannuation of the teacher, had he remained alive.
School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said, 13 teachers deployed on COVID-19 duty have so far died of novel coronavirus in Ganjam district alone.
Over 62,000 teachers have been assigned the responsibility of COVID-19 management in temporary medical camps (TMCs), COVID care centres and COVID care homes, he said.
“The kin of the deceased will get financial assistance as per the notification issued by the Finance Department on August 4,” Dash told PTI.
The notification issued by the Finance Department says that the spouse or the family members of the deceased employee will get the COVID Warrior Family Assistance at the rate of the last pay drawn/ due along with DA as admissible from time to time till the normal date of superannuation of the deceased government servant, had he remained alive.
The minister also informed that officials of his department had on Tuesday visited the houses of the teachers who died and declared them as COVID-19 warriors.
It has been decided to hand over the assistance to the family members of 12 teachers soon, the minister said.
No decision has been taken in the case of a teacher identified as Simanchal Satpathy, who also died in the line of duty, as he was a bachelor, Dash said. His parents allegedly died by suicide after coming to know of Satpathy’s death, police sources said.
The government is considering providing assistance to his family members, he said.
“Although this is a tragic incident, my department feels proud of these teachers who have sacrificed their lives in the relentless fight against the deadly infection,” Dash said.
The state government had in April announced an ex- gratia of Rs 50 lakh for families of all frontline workers – doctors and other health care professionals – who die of the virus while deployed for COVID-19 duties.
Meanwhile, Odisha Secondary School Teachers Association (OSSTA) secretary Prakash Mohanty said, “We have already made a demand of Rs 50 lakh for the kin of the deceased teachers at par with health workers.”