The school education department of Maharashtra on Tuesday proposed a scheme to cover the educational expenses of students of class 1st to 12th standard who lost both their parents due to COVID-19. The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed that the proposal should be submitted during the Cabinet meeting with the required funds.
In a tweet on May 27, School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad had said that the expenses of these children’s education will be borne by the Department of Higher and Technical Education. The funding will be provided until they complete school-level education equal to class 12.
The government made the announcement at a time when the worst affected state due to Covid-19 continues to battle the second wave of coronavirus with lockdown-like curbs since mid-April of this year.
The Maharashtra government has already announced financial assistance for children orphaned due to COVID-19. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Uddhav Thackeray on June 2.
The government has announced that fixed deposits of Rs five lakh will be made in the name of orphaned children who have lost at least one parent to COVID-19. They will also get a monthly allowance of Rs 1,125.
At present there are 162 children in the state who have lost both parents, at least one of them to the pandemic. Nine such kids are in government institutions as they have no relatives to take care of them, officials said.
Any child (upto the age of 18) whose both parents have died of COVID-19 after March 1, 2020, or one parent has died of COVID-19 and other because of any other reason (prior to or after the COVID-19 outbreak) will be eligible for this aid.
As many as 5,172 children in the state have lost one parent to COVID-19, their other parent being alive, as per official data.