Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 29, 2021 approved a slew of measures for children orphaned due to COVID under the PM-CARES for Children scheme.
The measures include free education and to create Rs 10 lakh corpus for each child, which will be given to them on attaining the age of 23, among others
The decisions were taken during a meeting chaired by PM Modi to discuss and deliberate on steps that need to be taken to support children who have been orphaned due to COVID-19.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the children represent the future of the country and India will do everything possible to support and protect the children so that they develop as strong citizens and have a bright future.
PM-CARES for Children scheme: Key Highlights
• All children who have lost either both parents or surviving parents or legal guardians or adoptive parents due to COVID-19 will be supported under PM-CARES for Children scheme.
• The contribution under the scheme will be done through the PM CARES Fund till they attain the age of 18 years to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child orphaned due to COVID-19.
• The children will be given a monthly stipend for five years starting from 18 years till they complete 23 years to take care of their personal requirements during the period.
• When the children turn 23, they will be given the full amount of Rs 10 lakh for professional or personal use.
• The PM-CARES for Children scheme will ensure free education for such kids. The children under 10 years will be given admissions in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalayas or private schools as day scholars.
• If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the Right to Education norms will be given from the PM CARES.
• Provisions have also been made for educating kids between 11 to 18 years in residential schools including Sainik Schools and Navodaya Vidyalayas.
• All expenditure that concerns the child’s education including buying of notebooks, textbooks and uniform will be taken care of under the PM CARES Fund.
• The Students going for higher education will also be assisted to get education loans and scholarships and PM CARES will pay interest on the loan.
• For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
• These children will also be enrolled under Ayushman Bharat Scheme with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh till 18 years, the premium for which will be paid by the PM CARES Fund.
Almost 577 children lost their parents due to the pandemic. The central government is constantly monitoring all these orphaned children in coordination with the state governments.