The Maharashtra government has declared that fixed deposits of Rs five lakh will be made in the name of children who have lost one or both parents to Covid-19. They will also get a monthly allowance of Rs 1,125.
The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
According to the scheme, any child (upto the age of 18) whose both parents have died of Covid-19 after March 1, 2020, or one parent has died of pandemic and other because of any other reason (prior to or after the Covid-19 outbreak) will be eligible for the FD.
The children will get the FD amount with interest after attaining the age of 21 years.
At present, there are 163 children in the state who have lost both parents and more than 5,000 kids who have lost at least one of them to the pandemic.
“If no one in the family is willing to take care of the child, he/she will be the government’s responsibility. If relatives come forward to take care of the child, they will also be given a grant from the Child Care Scheme of the Department of Women and Child Development. The term deposit will be in the joint bank account of the child and the District Women and Child Development Officer,” said the government.
Children who have lost one parent to Covid-19 and whose other parent is alive will also get this monthly assistance, but they won’t be eligible for the FD scheme.
The government had set up a 10-member task force in each of the 36 districts in the state to identify the children orphaned due to the pandemic. The task force will also oversee the arrangements of their shelter and supervise their adoption to ensure that there is no trafficking and exploitation.
The government has also set up a helpline number to seek information about such children after getting inputs that anti-social elements were encouraging illegal adoption of such children to be used for human trafficking.