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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Adopt Covid orphans, take responsibility of their education: Cong urges govt

Senior Congress leader Deepak Babaria urged the state government to give Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the families which have lost their breadwinners

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
May 24, 2021 9:47:26 pm
The family member of a person who succumbed to Covid-19 performs the last rites wearing a PPE kit. (Express Photo: Bhupendra Rana, File)

The Gujarat Congress on Monday said the state government must adopt and take responsibility of the education of the children who have lost their parents to Covid-19, besides extending Rs 10,000 monthly pension and compensation to families that have lost their sole breadwinner amid the pandemic.

At a press conference, held in Ahmedabad’s Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan Monday, senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Congress in-charge, Deepak Babaria said, “The state government is claiming that only 4,700 people died (of Covid-19), but as per newspaper reports, Right to Information (RTI) applications and other sources, in the past 71 days more than 1.32 lakh people have died in Gujarat. Among the Covid dead, a majority of the people were from the middle class or the poorer sections (of the society) who couldn’t afford healthcare, had no access to (hospital) beds and medicines for treatment, or were living in remote areas and couldn’t get treatment. Majority of the dead were bread earners for their families…”

He urged the state government to give Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the families which have lost their breadwinners. “Congress-ruled governments in Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have been providing not only pension but also taken care of the education of such children who have turned orphans due to Covid. We demand from the state government to ensure the responsibility of education of Covid orphans…,” the Congress leader said. The Delhi government, too, has announced that it will bear the cost of educating and bringing up children who have lost both their parents to Covid-19.

Recalling the 2001 Bhuj earthquake, Babaria said, a mass movement was carried out by the people to assist the needy then. A similar campaign, he added, is needed today. Babaria also urged the Gujarat government to prepare health cards for families which have lost their sole income earner and also extend them a monthly pension of Rs 10,000 each.

The Congress leader demanded relief for small businesses, which have been hit by the Covid-induced lockdown. “We are seeing that lockdown has returned in Gujarat… Small businesses and small vendors have been hit the worst during this crisis. The government should also provide wages to the small vendors, so that they can support their families,” Babaria said.

He also targeted the Central government saying it has money for the Central Vista project in Delhi and to purchase private planes, but “not for the people who are in distress”.

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