KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has decided to provide employment to the next of kin of deceased and incapacitated COVID warriors on compassionate grounds, as it seeks to boost the morale of the frontline workers, a senior official said here on Friday.
Many frontline workers, including doctors and police personnel, have succumbed to the infection during the course of their duty over the past five months.
Until now, the government had been providing a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of COVID warriors upon their death.
"The state government has already implemented a string of measures to stand beside these frontline workers. It is bearing the entire cost of their treatment and in the event of their unfortunate demise, the family is being assisted with a grant of Rs 10 lakh. Now, in order to save the dependant of the deceased or permanently incapacitated Covid warriors from financial distress, the state has decided to provide employment in the government," an order issued on Wednesday said.
The initiative has enumerated a list of criteria that one has to fulfil to avail of the benefits.
"The scheme may be called the West Bengal Special Compassionate Appointment (to the dependent of Covid Warrior who has died or has been permanently incapacitated due to Covid-19) Scheme, 2020," the order said.
It will be applicable to a dependant of an employee of the state government, rural and urban local bodies, public undertakings, statutory bodies or a grant-in-aid institution.
The scheme will also cover families of ASHA workers, multipurpose health workers, contractual workers engaged under National Health Mission as well as all part-time medical, para-medical and nursing personnel among others.
"Compassionate appointment may be made to the post in group C or group D category against available vacancy depending upon the educational qualification and eligibility of the applicant.
No appointment shall be made under the scheme until the candidate has attained 18 years of age," the order added.