In News: Prime Minister of India released PM CARES benefits for ‘COVID orphans’
- Initiatives are announced under the PM CARES for children initiative.
- The Covid initiative for children will be open to those who lost both their parents, only surviving parent, legal guardian or adoptive parents to Covid between March 11, 2020 and February 28, 2022
- They will be provided financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh, and health cover of Rs 5 lakh through Ayushman cards
- The beneficiaries will be eligible to avail loans for higher education and professional courses.
- The Rs 10 lakh assistance will be in the form of an investment with the returns given to beneficiaries in form of a monthly stipend between the ages of 18 and 23, and the entire amount handed over when they attain the age of 23.
- The benefits also include an annual scholarship of Rs 20,000 for school students and monthly financial support of Rs 4,000 for daily needs.
- School-going children will also receive free education, textbooks and uniforms at the nearest government schools. Those in private schools may avail fee reimbursement under norms for the Right to Education Act, 2005.
- To avail the benefits, the names of affected children need to be registered on the portal pmcaresforchildren.in — it will also act as a single-window system for approvals.
- Data available on the portal show that 9,042 applications have been received under the programme with 4,345 of them already approved.
- Children may also need emotional support and mental guidance. A special ‘Samvad’ service has also been started for this.
- On the ‘Samvad Helpline’, children can consult, discuss with experts on psychological matters
PM – CARES Fund
- The government set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Fund is a public charitable trust with the Prime Minister as its Chairman. Other Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
- PM CARES do not receive budgetary support
- It is not audited by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
- The Fund enables micro-donations as a result of which a large number of people will be able to contribute with the smallest of denominations.
- Donations have been made tax-exempt, and can be counted as a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations
Source: Indian Express & The Hindu
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