The Gujarat government has increased the age limit of Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana, under which children who have lost their parents will get a monthly stipend of ₹4000.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani increased the age limit from 18 years to 21 years. A monthly stipend of Rs 4,000 will be provided to children under the scheme whose parents have died due to COVID.
Rupani had earlier in May launched the Mukhyamantri Bal Seva Yojana on the eve of the completion of seven years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
This stipend will continue during higher studies too, Mr Rupani said in a live webcast. All types of undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be considered valid for availing benefit under this scheme, the Chief Minister said.
Such orphaned children will also get priority in various government schemes offering scholarships within India and abroad irrespective of income criteria, he added.
The children orphaned by COVID-19 from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, NT-DNT and Economically Backward Classes will get the benefit of scholarships of the state Social Justice and Empowerment and Tribal Development Department irrespective of income limits.
Orphaned children will also be eligible for educational loans for study in India and abroad on a priority basis irrespective of income limits under the existing 'Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavalamban Yojana'.
Girls orphaned by COVID-19 will get priority in admission to Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, a chain of residential schools run by the government. Their hostel expenses will also be borne by the state government.