Scheme for (COVID) orphaned children

Post COVID recovery, especially the second wave, care necessitates to be taken in respect of the devastation caused by it in terms of loss of precious human lives and the severest impact thereof on the affected families , in particular the children. Unfortunately, the pandemic in many cases snatched both the parents of numerous children rendering them as orphans and undone. It, therefore, becomes the duty of not only the Government but of all social, religious, political and cultural organisations to come forward and take care of these children on long term basis. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already initiated a scheme known as “PM CARES for children” for helping and empowering children affected by Corona which was going to benefit the affected children of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir too, a scheme on similar lines has also been announced in the UT. In this connection, it is a matter of great relief that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has accorded approval for rolling out of a Special Assistance Scheme for COVID Mortalities – SASCM. Pensions certificates and scholarships to the families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are the main ingredients of the scheme. This is a commendable step aimed at supporting children who lost their parents which is going to take care of their needs on a sustained basis.
In this connection, foolproof and transparent measures must precede actual process of identification and disbursement to ensure that the real victims got the benefit and lived a normal life. Although over 500 such affected ones which were identified by the concerned Department commendably at a shortest notice , were given cheques etc , yet the assurance of the Lt. Governor that the Government was committed to support those children who lost their parents due to the pandemic, must allay associated fears, if any. Their sustenance, education and healthcare besides making their future secure would comprise the actual support base they need. On account of taking care of their minimum reasonable financial needs and difficulties could result in their living a dignified life. Even those whose only bread earner succumbed to the virus needed financial support to lead a dignified life , efforts needed to be made to find out if any surviving member could be helped in earning a livelihood by means of starting some small business and avocation.
Again, it is quite in the fitness of things in creating a special cell exclusively for the purpose in Social Welfare Department so that not only are such affected families identified and tracked but ensuring that facilities reached the right ones , those who only were eligible under the scheme. Administration would not only be doing its duty as enjoined upon it under various statutory guidelines but performing great humanitarian act of great scope of uplifting those who on the one hand lost their dears and nears , bread earners and parents and on the other, had nothing to fall back upon – both for meeting daily minimum needs and to take care of the future. Reaching out to every family affected by the pandemic having been announced by the UT Government in being able to find out and start own venture or self employment by providing all necessary help is equally a good initiative especially for taking care on long term needs. Not only the necessary working capital facilities should be provided to such willing persons but necessary skills and trainings too given.
The work is not confined to only making disbursements of the ex-gratia amount and other financial assistance by the administration to the affected ones but how regular visits by the designated officials took place of such families to take stock of the situation to suitably address the problems and difficulties. School going students and college going students are entitled to yearly scholarship of Rs.20000 and Rs.40000 respectively , two children shall be eligible from each family in distress for these benefits plus benefits of all other welfare schemes too. More needs to done in that respect and social , religious , charitable organisations and the like too must step in on a sustained basis in this noble cause by extending financial help to these children and families.