GoAP announces ‘CM Bal Seva Scheme’ for children orphaned by Covid-19

ITANAGAR, 29 May: The Arunachal government on Saturday announced the ‘Chief Minister Bal Seva Scheme’, which will supplement the PM-Cares for Children (Empowerment of Covid Affected Children) and provide succour to children orphaned due to Covid-19.

Children who have lost both parents/surviving parent/legal guardians/adoptive parent and became orphaned due to Covid-19 will be eligible for the scheme.

The assistance to be provided includes payment of financial assistance to the guardians/caretaker and assistance to the orphaned child. Children in non-institutional care (with extended family/guardians) will be supported with Rs 2,000 per child/month under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and the Child Protection Services Scheme guidelines.

“These children shall be made eligible in the scheme in case they opt to be with their extended family, grandparents, or guardians. Further, under this scheme, the state government will supplement the amount of Rs 2,000 with an additional amount of Rs 1,500 per child/month,” the CM’s PR cell informed in a release.

Orphaned children below 10 years of age with no extended family or guardian shall be housed in child care institutions and will avail all benefits in the institutions, along with free education and healthcare, it said.

Child care institutions are supported by the government of India, and the Centre provides Rs 2,160 as maintenance grant per child per month.

In case of adolescent girls, to take care of their educational needs, preference will be given to educate them in institutions such as Sarada Mission, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya or any other girls’ residential schools, the PR cell said.

“The government will also provide laptops/tabs to school/college going child or child undergoing vocational training,” it said.

“The government will assign mentors, preferably a gazetted Group A officer/eminent social workers who will periodically interact with the child through offline/online mode and guide and nurture his/her talents/interests and bring to the knowledge of the appropriate forum/authority the problems and issues of the child,” the PR cell informed.