Updated: May 19, 2021 1:06:29 am
Every family in Delhi that has lost a member to Covid will be awarded ex gratia of Rs 50,000, and those who lost earning members or breadwinners will get an additional Rs 2,500 per month as pension, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday.
“We cannot compensate for the loss but we can help you in these difficult times,” Kejriwal said. “If the husband dies, the pension will be given to the wife. If the wife dies, it will be given to the husband. If an unmarried person dies, the pension will be given to his or her parents.”
Government officials said the Rs 50,000 ex gratia is for each death, so a family that has lost two members will be entitled to Rs 1 lakh.
The ex gratia will be paid to all families irrespective of their income, the officials said.
According to the Delhi government’s health bulletin, 22,111 people have died of Covid in the national capital so far. Deaths from the disease are declared by an audit committee, and there has always been a difference between the Delhi government’s official figures and the number of bodies for which last rites are carried out as per the Covid protocol at crematoriums and burial grounds — the latter being higher.
On this aspect, a senior government official said: “If someone dies of Covid at home, they will have to give the same documents as the rest (Covid report and death certificate). Covid test positive result is necessary.”
Kejriwal also said that children orphaned after the death of one or both parents due to Covid would be given Rs 2,500 per month till they reach the age of 25 years, and their education would be sponsored by the government of Delhi.
“Children who have lost parents — whether they have lost both to Covid or it is the case that one parent had died earlier, and they lost the other parent to Covid — will get Rs 2,500 per month till the age of 25. They will also get free education,” he said.
Kejriwal also announced free ration to all ration card holders in the city for this month.
“There are 72 lakh people in Delhi who have ration cards. The government gives 5 kg ration each month to them for a small amount. This month, the ration will be given for free. They will also get an additional 5 kg ration free from the Centre. So every ration card holder will get 10 kg free ration this month,” he said.
Those who need help but do not have a ration card will not be refused either, the Chief Minister said. “Those who say they are poor and need ration, will get ration. Last year too, during the first wave, we had given ration to the non-PDS section. The same system will be followed this year. It will be implemented in two-four days. Nobody needs to show any income certificate,” he said.
All these decisions will be passed by the Delhi Cabinet and implemented in the next few days, Kejriwal said.
Among other states, Madhya Pradesh has announced a pension of Rs 5,000 for children who have lost parents or guardians to the pandemic. “We will provide free education to these children, and families will be given free ration even if they are not eligible,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said.
Madhya Pradesh has also announced two welfare schemes for the families of government employees who have died of Covid, providing a job to one member and ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh.
Jammu and Kashmir has announced pensions for life for senior citizens who have lost the only earning member of the family, and a scholarship for children who have lost their parents to Covid.
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