MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has launched an initiative for children orphaned by Covid-19. Under the ‘Government at your door — Mission Vatsalya’ project, all government schemes will be extended to these victims of the pandemic. There are 18,304 children in Maharashtra who have lost either their father or mother to Covid-19 since last year. Of them, 16,295 lost their fathers, while the remaining 2,009 lost their mothers. There are 570 children who lost both parents. This newspaper was the first to report about their plight.
The state’s Women and Child Development and Welfare Minister, advocate Yashomati Thakur said they are committed to helping these orphans and single-parent children.“We have started several welfare schemes. Teams of local officers have been formed and they will reach out to the people at their place. They do not have to run around for the benefits. Our people will share details. They will help in filing applications and ensure that the benefits reach those who need them. These teams will obtain the relevant documents on behalf of these families so that they are not deprived of the benefits,” Thakur said.
Some of the prominent schemes are retirement pensions, Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudhan Yojana, national family scheme, Shravan Bal pension scheme, Bal Sangopan scheme, housing scheme, Indira Gandhi pension scheme, Indira Gandhi widow pension scheme, Indira Gandhi psychically handicapped scheme and Shub Mangal Yojana.
“There are several schemes but most people are not aware of them. So they miss the opportunity as well as benefits. Our teams in rural and urban pockets will make them aware of these. There are schemes run by tribal and agriculture departments. Those will also be implemented. Our aim is no orphan would be deprived of his or her right to education, food etc,” Thakur added.She said that these officials will also extend help to obtain Aadhaar, PAN, ration card and open bank accounts.
CENTRE TELLS STATES TO CURB GATHERINGS
New Delhi: Ahead of the festival season, the Centre on Saturday asked all states and UTs to ensure there is no large gatherings and told them to take proactive measures to check the spread of coronavirus. Extending the existing Covid guidelines for one more month till September 30, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the overall pandemic situation now appears to be largely stable at the national level, except for the localised spread observed in a few states.