Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday launched a welfare scheme for children who have lost either one or both parents to COVID-19.
Under the 'Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana', the state government will provide financial assistance to a child's guardian while those who do not have anyone to look after them will be sent to children's homes, an official spokesperson said.
Launching the scheme here, Adityanath said the state government will take care of the upbringing and education of children orphaned by COVID-19.
As part of the scheme, the government will provide a monthly financial assistance of Rs 4,000 to a child's guardian or caretaker till he or she attains adulthood, the spokesperson said.
Children below 10 years who do not have any family member will be taken care of by the state government children's homes. Currently, such homes are functional in Mathura, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Agra and Rampur, he said.
A minor girl child will be housed in Kasturba Gandhi Girls (residential) Schools run by the government of India or children's homes (girls) run by the state government. Currently, there are 13 such children's homes in the state.
Apart from this, they will be taken care of in 18 Atal Residential Schools being set up in the state. The state government will also provide an amount of Rs 1,01,000 for the marriage of such girls.
The spokesperson said there are 197 children in the state who have lost both their parents to COVID-19.
As many as 1,799 children have lost either their father or mother to COVID-19 but the annual income of the surviving parents will be evaluated.
Around 1,000 children are likely to benefit from the 'Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana', he said.
The Uttar Pradesh government will also provide tablets or laptops to all such children studying in schools, colleges or pursuing vocational education, according to the spokesperson.