June 29, 2021 10:24:32 pm
Children who have either been orphaned or lost a single parent to Covid-19 in Maharashtra will be eligible to receive three years of tuition fee and a laptop or mobile for online education, Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur said Tuesday.
The Maharashtra government has signed an MoU with the Indian Psychiatric Society to begin counselling of children who saw their loved ones die during the pandemic. A second MoU was signed with Project Mumbai to look into the education finances of children.
The state announced it will provide all basic facilities to orphans and tackle psychological counselling to help them cope with the situation. Project Mumbai will fund three years of tuition fees for them.
So far, more than 400 children have lost both parents and 13,000 have lost a single parent to Covid-19.
A task force has been constituted under the district collectors to collect information on these children. The state government will keep a fixed deposit of Rs 5 lakh in their bank account, which will be given to them once they turn 21. The task force will also be responsible for protecting the property and other legal rights of these children. With the huge task at hand, the state government also plans to rope in NGOs for the initiative.
WCD secretary IS Kundan said due to the pandemic and restrictions on movement in some places, counselling will be undertaken through online sessions. A dedicated toll-free number (1800-102 4040) has also been launched for children or their guardians to call for aid.
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