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250 children orphaned by the pandemic in the state.

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Govt To Take Care Of all these Kids.

MP was one of the first states to start the identification of children orphaned by the pandemic. After which the Mukhya Mantri Bal Kalyan Yojana was announced.

Bhopal: The pandemic has left at least 250 children as orphans in Madhya Pradesh, so far. Besides, another 1,200 have lost either their mother or father. These figures were known after the state government identified the kids orphaned by the pandemic. To support them under a scheme announced by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

MP was one of the first states to start the identification of children orphaned by the pandemic. After which the Mukhya Mantri Bal Kalyan Yojana was announced. Under the scheme, the children who have lost both their parents will be provided sustenance of Rs 5,000 per month till they attain the age of 21. If the child pursues his/her studies beyond the age of 21, the allowance would be provided till the age of 24.

“As per preliminary work, we have mapped around 250 children and the work is still on. We had started work on the identification of kids orphaned quite

early,” director women and child development, Madhya Pradesh, Swati Meena told TOI. “The scheme is not limited to sanctioning funds. But is equally important in its implementation and follow up to ensure the well-being and interests of the children are safeguarded”, she added.

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In MP the Mukhya Mantri Bal Kalyan Yojana was announced.

Meena said, “We are going to initiate a community-level dialogue for increasing awareness for the cause. Apart from it, the children who have lost a single parent will also be covered under our sponsorship program. Joint director women and child development department,

Vishal Nadkarni said. “The legal guardian of the kids will be identified based on the provisions prescribed under the juvenile justice Act. First, there will be a home study report (HSR) and then a social study report (SSR). Under HSR the home condition of the foster guardian is studied, like if any grandparent is alive but he/she is very elderly and is not in a condition to take care, then other relatives who are interested could also be considered, social study report is also important in the assessment.”

“Even those children who are in child care institutions (CCD) and are being taken care of by the government will be eligible for the benefits after attaining the age of 18. And the scheme has no binding of having only two kids as if there are more than two children of a parent and both parents have died, all are equally affected,” he said.

Sources said that for the remaining 1,200 children who have lost either mother or father to the pandemic. The government is planning to introduce private sponsorships. Under the scheme, even private individuals or organizations will be able to sponsor a child by paying Rs 2,000 a month for the child.

However, the scheme is yet to be fine-tuned. The women and child development department is aiming at creating a level of awareness in the community to encourage foster parents. For younger children, sources said.

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