An orphaned child with her siblings after their parents died of Covid-19, helps her siblings read and write in Pattapur. (NYT photo)
NEW DELHI: The government on Friday informed Parliament that 292 children have been registered by states and Union territories till July 29 on the portal, created under PM Cares, for the scheme meant to provide support to children who have lost their parents, surviving parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian due to Covid-19. It also informed the House that 87 children living in childcare institutions have been affected by Covid-19, as per data collected till July 23.
In her reply to a query, women and child development minister Smriti Irani said states and Union territories were directed on July 22 to identify children eligible for support under PM Cares and register them on the portal that was launched under the central scheme. The states and UTs were asked to upload details of children who lost their parents to Covid within 15 days.
The data till July 29 shows that as many as 18 states and UTs have not yet provided the detials of eligible children. Of the 292 children registered on the portal, Tamil Nadu accounts for 112 and Andhra 85.
According to information provided by the states and UTs, 645 children lost their parents to Covid from April 2021 to May 28, Irani said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the ‘PM Cares for Children’ scheme to support children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 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 or stipend to the orphaned children when the attain the age of 18 years 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 in a lump-sum for personal and professional use.