UP Government to increase aid for Covid-19 orphans

In yet another gesture towards children who lost their parents due to the Covid pandemic, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has upwardly revised the help being given to children whose guardian’s income is below Rs 2 lakh per year.

“For the legal or natural guardian, the annual income of Rs two lakh limit is very low, hence should be increased,” the chief minister has directed officials.

According to the government spokesman, a monthly financial assistance of Rs 4,000 will be given to a child’s guardian or caretaker, till he or she attains adulthood, while those who do not have anyone to look after them will be sent to child protection homes.

The chief minister has directed the women and child welfare department to identify such children at the earliest and ensure that no eligible child is deprived of this welfare scheme.

Speaking about the Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana, Manoj Rai, Director of Women and Child Welfare said, “Adequate steps are being taken to identify such children who lost their parents due to COVID-19 pandemic. So far, 300 children have been identified and the work is still in progress.”

Orphans aged up to 10 years, who do not have any guardian or extended family to take care of them, will be rehabilitated in five Rajkiya Bal Grah (children’s shelter homes) in Uttar Pradesh. These shelter homes are in Mathura, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Agra, and Rampur.

For the upbringing and education of Covid orphans, the chief minister has launched the ‘Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana’.

A free education facility will be provided in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya and Atal residential schools to these children.

Yogi Adityanath has also directed officials to ensure that the education of orphaned children above 18 years of age, is not disrupted due to financial reasons.

Under the Abhyudaya Yojana of the state government, laptops and tablets will be provided to facilitate higher studies of such children.

The Yogi Government will also provide financial assistance of Rs 1,01,000 for the marriage of girls under the scheme.

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