Published: 30th July 2021
292 COVID orphans registered on portal under PM CARES scheme, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani says in Lok Sabha
The scheme provides support for education and health and will create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age
A total of 292 children have been registered on the portal under PM CARES scheme to support those kids who have lost their parents due to COVID-19 pandemic, the government said on Friday.
In response to a question in Lok Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said states and union territories have been directed on July 22 to identify children eligible for support under the PM CARES for children scheme and register them on the portal that was launched under this scheme.
As of July 29, about 292 children have been registered on the portal to support children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to COVID-19 pandemic, according to the data shared by Irani in her written response. As many as 18 states and union territories have not yet furnished the number of such children on the portal and it currently shows zero while states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have registered the highest number of such children at 112 and 85 respectively.
According to information provided by states and union territories, 645 children who have lost their parents to COVID since April 2021 to May 28, Irani said. The scheme provides support for education and health and will create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.
In a letter issued on July 22, the government had asked states to upload the details of children who lost their parents to COVID-19 within 15 days. In response to another question, Irani said 87 children living in child care institutions have been affected by COVID-19.
Responding to another question, she said 732 district child protection units have been formed and are currently operational, which are being supported under the Child Protection Service(CPS) Scheme. "The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, has been passed by the Parliament.
The amended Act shall empower District Magistrates (DM) with the responsibility of care and protection of vulnerable children and the DM shall supervise the functioning of the District Child Protection Unit," Irani said in her response.