A total of 845 children who were orphaned during the pandemic have been approved as eligible for benefits under the PM-CARES for Children scheme till now, a senior official said Wednesday.
Of the 3,915 applications received for support under ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme, applications of 845 children have been approved, the Women and Child Development Ministry official said. The ministry has come out with guidelines for the scheme in which responsibilities at all the levels have been fixed. Ministry of Women and Child Development shall be the nodal Ministry for execution of the scheme at the central level. The department of Women and Child development or the department of Social Justice in the State/UT implementing the Child Protection Services scheme shall be the nodal department for the scheme. Additional Chief Secretary/ Principal Secretary/ Secretary of the department shall be the State Nodal Officer for implementation of PM CARES for Children Scheme.
The official said currently a monthly stipend of Rs 2000 is being given which would be increased to Rs 4000.
“Once the cabinet decision is taken that will be revised. However, we had an active conversation with states where they are also doing a top of a their end. So between the Centre and states, apart from this corpus of 10 lakh there is additional funding available for these children,” the official said.
According to the guidelines, the lump sum amount will be transferred directly in the post office account of beneficiaries upon opening and validation of the account of the beneficiaries. A pro-rata amount will be credited upfront in the account of each identified beneficiary such that the corpus for each beneficiary becomes Rs. 10 lakh at the time of attaining 18 years of age.
“Children will receive monthly stipend once they attain 18 years of age, by investing the corpus of Rs 10 lakh. The beneficiary will receive stipend till they attain 23 years of age. They will receive an amount of Rs. 10 lakh on attaining 23 years of age,” the guidelines said. The PM-CARES for Children scheme aims at ensuring comprehensive care and protection of children who have lost their parent(s) to Covid pandemic.
The scheme inter alia provides support to these children through convergent approach, gap funding for ensuring education, health, monthly stipend from the age of 18 years, and lump sum amount of Rs. 10 lakh on attaining 23 years of age. All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents/single adoptive parent due to COVID-19 pandemic shall be entitled to benefits under this scheme. The guidelines said that the district magistrate shall anchor the scheme in the district. “The DM (by designation) shall act as the guardian of these children, under this scheme, for all practical purposes. The DM shall identify the beneficiaries with the assistance of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and District Child Protection Unit (DCPU). After satisfying themselves regarding the authenticity of the beneficiary, she/he will verify and confirm the details of the child on the PM CARES for Children portal,” according to the guidelines. —PTI