Odisha government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a new Ashirwad Scheme on 20 June 2023. In this scheme, the state govt. will focus on education, health and maintenance of Covid orphans.
Odisha Ashirwad Yojana (ओडिशा आशीर्वाद योजना) 2023
CM of Odisha announced Ashirwad Yojana (ओडिशा आशीर्वाद योजना), under this scheme government will provide a financial assistance on a monthly basis to those children who lost their parents to COVID -19 in the state.
Category of Beneficiary Children under Odisha Ashirwad Yojana
Children under distress who have lost their parents would be eligible under Ashirwad Yojana. Such children have been divided into 3 categories:-
- Those who have lost both their parents
- Those who have lost either father or mother
- Children whose main earning member of family, either father or mother have died
Benefits of Odisha Ashirwad Yojana
Under the Odisha Ashirwad Yojana, each beneficiary children would be able to avail the following benefits:-
- Rs. 2500 per month will be deposited in the bank accounts of family members who have taken responsibility of the children after death of their parents.
- The assistance under Odisha Ashirwad Yojana will continue till 18 years of the child or till such a date if somebody adopts him.
- All the Odisha Ashirbad Scheme beneficiary children will get free treatment under the state government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.
- Besides, children beneficiaries of Odisha Ashirwad Scheme will be also included as beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
- As per the provision of the scheme, the children can also continue in the schools in which they were studying before the death of their parents. However, the relative who has taken responsibility of a child resides somewhere else, arrangement of schooling will be made in that place. If necessary, the government will help in the admission of the children in Adarsh Vidyalaya or central school.
- CM mentioned that if the relative of the child wants to admit him to some other school, the district collector will provide all assistance as per the Right To Education Act. Odisha govt. will also assist such children to pursue higher education under the Green Passage scheme.
- Besides, if the relative who has taken responsibility of a child is eligible for a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, out of turn allotment will be made for him.
- The relative of the children adopting COVID orphans will be covered under any other government welfare scheme as per his eligibility.
Financial Assistance under Odisha Ashirwad Yojana
CM mentioned that the child welfare committee of the district will coordinate with the local tahasildar and police to protect the property of the orphan children. Children can also get financial assistance from Biju Sishu Suraksha Yojana and Juvenile Justice Fund if necessary.
However, if a child does not stay with a relative and resides in any child care institution, recurring deposit of Rs. 1000 per month will be made till he is 18 years of age. If child has lost either his father or mother who was the only earning member and now staying with surviving parent, Rs. 1500 per month will be provided for his maintenance. The amount will be deposited in either in his or his parent’s account. Besides, if the surviving parent is mother, she will also entitled for Madhu Babu Pension.
The chief minister asked the district collectors to prepare list of Covid orphans with assistance from the District Child Protection Committee, Childline and panchayat level organisations. He directed the collectors to launch a drive every year so that no Covid orphan is left out from the scheme.