Updated: June 3, 2021 7:15:55 am
Waiting with bated breath for the curfew to end are five-year-old twin sisters Mahi and Ruhi — they have been promised that they will be taken to meet their parents at a nearby hospital. But their grandfather Subhash Raikwar, who is taking care of the two sisters after their parents tested positive for Covid-19, is at a loss to explain to the two that they are orphans now.
“They don’t sleep well and cry late in the night waiting for their mother. We are just hoping that slowly, they will forget about the life they had with their parents, their schools and even neighbours,” said Subhash as he sat watching the twins play at his house in Bhopal’s old city Budhwara.
Raikwar, who now wants to adopt the two sisters, said, “I want to put them in a new school and give them better education so that they can fulfill their parents’ dream.” And it is for this that the aid announced by the state government will come in handy, he said.
Ruhi and Mahi are among 199 children identified by the Madhya Pradesh government through anganwadi networks as ‘Covid orphans’ and entitled for a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 each. On Sunday, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan transferred the first monthly pension of Rs 5,000 to 173 children from 130 families across the state under the state’s Mukhayamantri Bal Seva Yojna. The government will also provide Rs 10,000 every year to those studying at private schools.
However, even as the state has gone all out to identify such children, there are some like 16-year old Hanusheesh Dehariya, who is struggling to claim benefits under the scheme as he has not been issued a certificate that could prove his mother died due to Covid. “How will many like me be able to avail any government certificates, if we cannot even prove that our parents are Covid casualties?”
Ganga Chouhan, a retired school teacher from Shivpuri district, is waiting for the aid for the three children left behind by her sister-in-law who died of Covid-19 on May 3. “My account details have been taken by them (district officials) but as of now I have not received money from the district administration or the state government.”
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