In a major welfare scheme for children who have been orphaned due to Covid, the Union Government on Saturday announced a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM-CARES.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to discuss and deliberate on steps which can be taken to support children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19. The Prime Minister announced a number of benefits to children impacted by the current Covid pandemic.
While announcing these measures, the Prime Minister emphasised that children represent the future of the country and the country will do everything possible to support and protect the children so that they develop as strong citizens and have a bright future.
“In such trying times it is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future. All children who have lost both parents or surviving parents or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme,” Modi said.
He further stated that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM CARES Fund which will support India’s fight against Covid-19.
As per the government, PM CARES will contribute through an especially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support or 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 and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.
Children below the age of 10 years 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, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. The PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks and notebooks.
Children between 11-18 years will be given admission in any central government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya.
In case the child is to continue under the care of guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
For higher education, the child will be assisted in obtaining education loans for professional courses and higher education in India as per the existing education loan norms and the interest on this loan will be paid by the PM CARES.
As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees or course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per government norms will be provided to such children under Central or state government schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs five lakhs. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.