Govt to take care of children rendered orphan by COVID: LG

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha rolling out SASCM Scheme on Wednesday.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha rolling out SASCM Scheme on Wednesday.

SASCM Scheme rolled out

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, June 30: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today rolled out ‘Special Assistance Scheme for COVID Mortalities – SASCM’, by handing over the grant of scholarship and pension certificates to the children and the members of the families affected due to COVID-19.

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J&K Government is committed to support children who lost their parents in this pandemic. The administration as guardian will take all necessary steps for their well-being and education, so they can have a bright future, he remarked.
“We stand in solidarity with the families who lost their earning members due to the pandemic. Besides pension, every effort will be made to ensure they live a dignified life and have no financial difficulties,” the Lt Governor said.
It is our duty and utmost responsibility to support families, restore livelihoods and ensure stability in their life, he added.
For extending handholding to the affected families, a special cell has been constituted in Social Welfare Department to track and facilitate benefits under existing Government sponsored welfare schemes which the family may be eligible for, Sinha said.
He remarked that the administration will reach out to every affected family with financial assistance if they are willing to start their own business or other venture for self-employment, besides imparting training and providing market linkages to them.
All Deputy Commissioners and officials of Social Welfare Department were directed to identify the families who have lost their loved ones due to COVID, so that social protection and other necessary support can be extended to them.
In order to provide round the clock support, Sinha directed the District Social Welfare Officers to pay regular visits to such families in their respective areas.
“Work with high sensitivity and double your efforts in reaching out to every affected family ensuring that no one is left behind, the Lt Governor told the officials.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has also initiated a separate scheme named “PM CARES for Children” for the help and empowerment of the children affected by Corona, which will benefit the families of our UT. All the concerned officials should make sure that PM CARES benefits are extended to all the affected families, he added.
The Lt Governor also appreciated the efforts of the Social Welfare Department to identify as many as 512 beneficiaries for scholarship and pensionary support and further called for 100% coverage under the scheme at the earliest.
Simultaneously, the beneficiaries under the scheme received the Scholarship and Pension grants in various locations across the UT.
Pertinently, under the ‘SASCM’ scheme, cash assistance of Rs 1000 per month shall be provided to spouse and the eldest member of the family. Apart from this, the scheme provides for scholarship of Rs 20,000 per annum for school going students and Rs 40,000 per annum for college going students. A family in distress shall be eligible for scholarship for two children, if they are not getting any other scholarship. Besides, the benefits of all the other social welfare schemes, including pensions, etc will be extended to the families.
Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Social Welfare Department; Deputy Commissioners from all districts were present on the occasion, in person and through virtual mode.