Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that all children who have lost both parents or guardian to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will be supported under ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme. Such children will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of ₹10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM-CARES, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), according to a release from the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
PM Modi chaired an important meeting to discuss and deliberate on steps which can be taken to support children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19. He announced a number of benefits to children impacted by the current Covid-19 pandemic.
While announcing these measures the Prime Minister emphasised children represent the future of the country and the country will do everything possible to support and protect them so that they grow up as strong citizens and have a bright future.
The PM said, “In such trying times it is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future. All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.”
He also added that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM CARES Fund which will support India’s fight against Covid-19.
Here are the few measures announced by PM Modi:
1. Fixed deposit in the name of the child: The PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of ₹10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as a lumpsum for personal and professional use.
2. School education for children under 10 years: The child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted in a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. The scheme will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks and notebooks.
3. School education for children between 11-18 years: The child will be given admission in any central government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc. In case the child is to be continued under the care of guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted in a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. The scheme will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks and notebooks.
4. Support for higher education: The child will be assisted in obtaining an education loan for professional courses / higher education in India as per the existing education loan norms. The interest on this loan will be paid by the PM CARES.
As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees / course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per government norms will be provided to such children under Central or state government schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
5.Health insurance: All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.