The state government of Odisha in India has identified nearly 51,000 children below the age of 18 who have lost one or both parents to Covid-19 or other reasons during the pandemic. In response, the government has launched the Ashirbad scheme, which will provide financial assistance to these children.
According to Women and Child Development Minister Basanti Hembram, children who have lost both parents will receive INR 2,500 per month, while those who have lost a parent who was the family’s breadwinner will receive INR 1,500 per month. Orphan children residing in childcare institutions will receive INR 1,000 per month. The financial assistance will continue until the child turns 18.
The Ashirbad scheme covers children who have lost their parents or main earning member on or after April 1, 2020, due to Covid-19. The funds will be deposited directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries or the family members who have taken responsibility for the children after the death of their parents.
In addition to the Ashirbad scheme, the central government’s PM Cares scheme has covered 108 children from Odisha who lost both parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme aims to provide support to the vulnerable children who have been affected by the pandemic, ensuring they have access to basic necessities and can continue their education.