J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday rolled out a Special Assistance Scheme for Covid Mortalities (SASCM) by handing over scholarships and pension certificates to the children and members of families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The J&K government is committed to support the children who lost their parents to the pandemic. The administration will take all necessary steps for their well-being and education, so that they can have a bright future,” Sinha said.
“We stand in solidarity with the families who lost earning members due to the pandemic. Besides pension, every effort will be made to ensure they live a dignified life and have no financial difficulties,” the Lt Governor said, adding: “It is our duty and responsibility to support families, restore livelihoods and ensure stability in their life.”
For extending handholding to the affected families, a special cell has been constituted under the Social Welfare Department to track and facilitate the benefits under the existing government-sponsored welfare schemes which the families may be eligible for, Sinha said.
He also said that the administration will reach out to every affected family with financial assistance if they are willing to start their own business or other ventures for self-employment, besides imparting training and providing market linkages to them.
All the deputy commissioners and officials of the Social Welfare Department have been directed to identify the families which have lost their loved ones due to Covid, so that social protection and other necessary support can be extended to them.
In order to provide round-the-clock support, Sinha directed the district social welfare officers to pay regular visits to such families in their respective areas.
Under SASCM, cash assistance of Rs 1,000 per month shall be provided to the spouse and the eldest member of the family.
Apart from this, the scheme provides for scholarship of Rs 20,000 per annum for school-going students and Rs 40,000 per annum for college-going students.
A family in distress shall be eligible for scholarships for two children, if they are not getting any other scholarship. Besides, the benefits of all the other social welfare schemes, including pensions, etc. will be extended to the families.