Odisha: Widow, orphans due to Covid casualties to get pension in 15 days

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed officials to identify widow and orphans due to Covid casualties at the earliest so that pension could be sanctioned under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana within 15 days.

During a Covid review meeting the Chief Minister stated the decision will provide a healing touch to the families devastated by the pandemic.

Last month, Patnaik announced at an all-party meeting that the widows and orphan due to Covid will be covered under the pension scheme.

Also, the orphaned children will get free education facilities.

In today’s meeting the CM asked officials to ensure all social security beneficiaries will get pension for three months in advance.

Earlier, on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced children who have become orphan due to Covid-19 will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, fixed deposits will be opened in the names of all children who have lost both parents or a surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid-19.

The PM-CARES fund will contribute through a specially designed scheme, to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each of them.

This corpus will be used to give a monthly stipend from 18 years of age for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education. On reaching 23 years age, they will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.

Regarding education of such children the PMO stated those under 10 years will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. Children between 11-18 years of age will be given admission in any central government residential school such as Sainik School and Navodaya Vidyalaya.

In case the child remains under the care of a guardian or extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.

If the child is admitted in a private school, fees as prescribed under the Right to Education Act norms will be given from the PM-CARES fund, and it will also pay for expenditure on uniform, text books and notebooks, the PMO added.

For higher education, children will be assisted in obtaining an education loan for professional courses or higher education in India according to existing norms. The interest on this loan will be paid from the PM-CARES fund.

As an alternative, a scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees or course fees for undergraduate and vocational courses will be provided to them under the central or state government scheme.

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