Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur on Monday said besides providing financial support to children orphaned by COVID-19 and other reasons, the state government will formulate a scheme to address their educational and other daily needs.
Thakur said the state cabinet, at its meeting this week, is likely to take certain decisions in this regard. Early this month, the Maharashtra government announced that fixed deposits of Rs five lakh will be made in the name of children who have lost at least one parent to COVID-19.
They will also get a monthly allowance of Rs 1,125. The minister said the state government is committed to provide all kinds of support to children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic and also due to other reasons.
She was talking to reporters in Thane after meeting orphans and listening to their problems." Only giving financial support will not suffice... they need to be given guidance, counselled and provided with other kinds of support," the minister said. She said this would be done through NGOs and individuals who come forward to support such children.
A task force formed by the state government to deal with such children has already met a couple of times and is expected to meet every two weeks and revisit issues related to their welfare, Thakur said. "There is also a need to address their educational needs and the government will surely address this issue along with other issues," she said.
The minister said she was touring the state to understand problems and issues faced by orphans." These children will be attached to those who want to support them," she said. Collector Rajesh Narvekar said Thane district has 42 orphans.