Odisha announces financial assistance under ‘Ashirbad’ for children orphaned due to COVID-19

Bhubaneswar: In a significant decision, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced the launch of ‘Ashirbad’ scheme, under which the state government will provide monthly financial assistance to the children who have been orphaned due to COVID-19.

As per the announcement, Rs 2500 per month will be provided to the children who have lost both parents/single parent and Rs 1500 per month to those who have lost earning parent due to COVID-19 on or after April 1, 2020.

The amount will be transferred to the bank accounts of the guardians/ caretakers of the orphans till they attain the age of 18 years. The assistance will not be provided in case the child is adopted by someone.

The beneficiaries will be included under the state government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana for availing free medical services, and Central/ State Food Security scheme.

The state government will facilitate continuation of their education at their respective schools. If required, assistance will be provided for studying in Adarsh Vidyalayas and Central Schools.

The children will be assisted for higher education under Green Passage scheme of the state government.

Pucca houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana/ Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana and benefits under other government schemes will be approved to the guardians/ caretakers on priority basis.

If such children stay at childcare institutions, an amount of Rs 1000 per month will be deposited in their bank account as recurring deposit till they attain 18 years of age.

For those who have lost their earning parent, Rs 1500 per month will be transferred to the bank account of their alive parent till they attain 18 years of age. The assistance will not be provided in the case of adoption.

Mothers of such children, if eligible for Madhu Babu Pension Scheme, will be provided pension.

The district child protection units, Childline, block and panchayat level committees and frontline workers will identify the children and prepare a list. The guardians/ caretakers can also approach district child protection units with death certificate to avail benefit under the scheme.

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