Covid: Assam CM Himanta Sarma announces welfare schemes for orphans, widows
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced a slew of welfare schemes for children who lost their parents to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and women who lost their husbands to the virus. Taking to Twitter, Sarma said the pandemic came at a huge human cost. “We can’t bring back the ones we lost along the way, but our government will do everything possible to stand with those affected. We promise to take care of you during this difficult hour,” he wrote on the microblogging site.
Under the chief minister’s Sishu Seva scheme, children will receive a fixed deposit of ₹781,000 with a monthly interest of ₹3,500 till they attain the age of 24. The principal amount of ₹781,000 will be credited to the account of the beneficiary. Apart from this, children will also receive a laptop and a skill-based education. Girls of marriageable age will receive ₹50,000 and one tola gold under the Arundhati scheme.
The Assam government announced the Sishu Seva scheme 10 days back, on the completion of the seven years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion of completion of a month of his government, Sarma said on Thursday that deputy commissioners will identify and form a list of all such children in their districts for the implementation of the scheme. Sarma personally handed over the benefits of the scheme to 11 children before he spoke to reporters.
“The children who were given financial assistance today have extended families and so they have been provided with the fixed deposit certificates which will provide a monthly interest for their education and skill development,” the chief minister was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, women who lost their husbands to Covid-19 will receive a one-time grant of ₹250,000 and Orunodoi benefit and a widow pension of ₹830 and ₹300 respectively. Orunodoi scheme also covers women who are divorced, unmarried or are suffering from a disability.
Assam has so far reported 450,201 Covid-19 cases and 3844 deaths due to the coronavirus disease, according to the National Health Mission’s (NHM’s) bulletin. The active cases stand at 47,081 and nearly 400,000 people have been discharged, taking the recovery rate to 88.39 per cent. The positivity rate, meanwhile, accounts for 3.70 per cent of the total caseload, the NHM bulletin showed.
Chief minister Sarma said on Thursday that the state board examinations for Classes 10 and 12 will be held from July 15 if the positivity rate drops below two per cent. If the positivity rate remains above the stipulated mark, then schools will be instructed to evaluate their students for which the modalities will be worked out and state education minister Ranoj Pegu will make an announcement accordingly, he added.