Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a welfare scheme for children who lost their parents due to COVID-19. The benefits include free education, monthly stipend, free health insurance, and many others. PM CARES fund will be used for providing benefits to such children.
PM CARES for Children Scheme launched
The decision was taken after PM Modi chaired a key meeting to discuss and deliberate on steps that can be taken to support such children. He announced the benefits after the meeting. Prime Minister emphasized that children represent the future of the country and the country will do everything possible to support and protect the children so that they develop as strong citizens and have a bright future. The PM said that in such trying times it is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future. All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme. He also added that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM CARES Fund which will support India’s fight against COVID-19.
"Children represent the future of the country and we will do everything to support and protect the children. It is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future," PM Modi said.
Key Benefits under the PM CARES for Children Scheme
- Children who have lost their parents to COVID will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM CARES.
- Free education will 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
- The children will get free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat till 18 years & premium will be paid by PM CARES fund
- Fixed Deposit in the name of the child: PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to giving a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.
- School Education for children under 10 years: The child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks and notebooks.
- School Education for children between 11-18 years: The child will be given admission to any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc. In case the child is to be continued under the care of Guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. PM CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks and notebooks.
- Support for Higher Education: The child will be assisted in obtaining an 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.
- As an alternative, scholarships equivalent to the tuition fees/course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per Government norms will be provided to such children under Central or State Government Schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
- Health Insurance: All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.