PM Modi on Saturday announced a new initiative to help children who have lost both their parents or guardians to the coronavirus pandemic. He said such children will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.
The Prime Minister announced that such bereaved children will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 for the next five years from the PM Cares Fund. Moreover, they will receive a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23.
Free education to be ensured for children who lost their parents to Covid. The children will be assisted to get an education loan for higher education & PM CARES will pay interest on the loan: Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)#COVID19— ANI (@ANI) May 29, 2021
Fixed Deposit in the name of the child
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister Office, PM Cares will contribute to a specially designed scheme to raise a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches the age of 18.
It further said the corpus would be used to provide monthly financial support from 18 years of age, for the next five years for their requirements during the period of higher education. When the children would reach the age of 23, they will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum amount for personal and professional use.
For children under 10: Free school education in government schools, along with free uniform, textbooks and notebooks
The statement issued by the govt says that the child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child chooses to pursue his/her education in a private school, the fees as per the Right to Education norms will be provided from the PM Cares Fund, the PMO said.
“PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniform, text books and notebooks,” the statement said.
For children between 11-18 years: Children to be admitted to residential schools or nearby Kendriya Vidyalaya
The children between the age of 11 to 18 will be provided with an option by the central government. They could either enrol themselves in any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc, or they can take admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar if the child wishes to live under the care of Guardian/ grandparents/ extended family. In the case of private schools, their fees will be paid from PM CARES as per RTE norms, and the fund will also pay for their uniform, textbooks and notebooks.
For teenagers seeking higher education, the central government will assist them in obtaining education loan for Professional courses / Higher Education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms. The interest on this loan will be paid by the PM Cares Fund.
Alternatively, the government will provide scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees/course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses under Central or State Government Schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
Children to be provided with Health Insurance
There is also a provision of Health Insurance for children who have lost both their parents or guardians under the new scheme. All children will be enlisted as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakhs. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.