Kejriwal announces free education, aid for children orphaned by pandemic
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced ₹50,000 relief for families of people, who have died of Covid-19, free education, and ₹2,500 monthly for those orphaned because of the pandemic till the age of 25. Announcing a series of relief measures, Kejriwal said the families that have lost their primary breadwinner will also get ₹2,500 monthly.
Kejriwal said the poor, who do not have ration cards at this point and need subsidised food grains, will be entitled to get them and that a system will be put in place in two days to enable that. He added the relief measures await a formal Cabinet approval and can be notified for implementation only after that.
“Common people have been facing a lot of difficulties because of the pandemic. Many of them have lost their loved ones. Several children have lost their parents. Several elderly people have lost their children on whom they were dependent. We cannot replace these lives or reduce their grief. We are only trying to help them, for which we have four announcements,” said Kejriwal at an online briefing.
“First, Delhi has a large number of people who are poor but still do not have ration cards. They too will be eligible for free ration being distributed by the Delhi government.” He said people won’t have to show income certificates to avail ration. “Second, families who lost relatives because of Covid-19 will get ₹50,000 ex-gratia. Third, families which have lost their breadwinners to Covid-19 will be entitled to an ex-gratia pension of ₹2,500 per month over and above the ₹50,000 ex gratia.”
Kejriwal said the money will be credited to the accounts of the spouses in the cases where those who have died were married and that of parents of those who were unmarried. “Fourth announcement is for children who have been orphaned. It includes those who lost both parents to Covid-19 as well as children who lost their only surviving parent to Covid-19. Such children will be entitled to ex-gratia assistance of ₹2,500 per month till the age of 25 and their education will be free – taken care of by the government.”
Kejriwal said his ministers have been discussing the measures for the last few days and the finance management to enable these schemes. “People must be wondering where the money will come from. Six years ago, you voted for an honest government. With our anticorruption model and efficient management of resources, we have saved money on many fronts. We have drawn a proper model considering all aspects where money can be saved. All our ministers have been working on it over the last few days.”