The Maharashtra government has deposited a sum of ₹15.30 crore in the bank accounts of 306 children orphaned by COVID-19 in 24 districts of Maharashtra. The development was confirmed by state Women and Child Development minister Yashomati Thakur on Sunday, October 3.
The initiative is part of the government's decision to give ₹ 5 lakh each to orphan children, whose number is around 600 in the state, News18 reported.
The minister said that the money would be disbursed in the rest of the childrens' accounts soon. The government is making efforts to help these children with education and other welfare measures, Thakur said.
Rs 1,125 To Relative Or Guardian
Besides announcing financial assistance of ₹ 5 lakh, the Maharashtra government had, in June, also announced ₹ 1,125 per month to the relative or guardian of the orphaned child to look after them. Further, all the expenses of their education will be borne by the government till they turn 21 years old, The Indian Express reported.
Thakur had said that the benefits would be extended to three categories of kids. The first to avail the aid would be those children whose both parents have died between March 2020 and May 2021. The second category is kids who have lost one parent to COVID and later lost another parent to another ailment. The third category caters to children who have lost one parent before March 1, 2020 to non-COVID ailment but later lost the other parent to Covid-19.
"Any child who falls in these categories will be eligible for the benefits of the scheme," she had announced.
The COVID pandemic has claimed more than 130,000 lives in the state and has severely impacted the lives of the children. In Maharashtra, 15,793 have lost one parent to COVID, while nearly 490 have become orphans, revealed the data compiled by the department of women and child development (WCD).