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Coronavirus | Govt. announces special scheme for COVID-19 orphans under PM CARES

When a child turns 18 years old he or she will draw a monthly stipend from the corpus of ₹10 lakh in order to meet expenses for personal needs and higher education

The government on Saturday announced a special "PM-CARES for Children" scheme for all those orphaned due to COVID-19, which will include a corpus of ₹10 lakh for each child till he or she reaches 18 years of age.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Children who have lost both parents or their lone surviving parent or their legal guardian or adoptive parent due to COVID-19 will be supported under the scheme. The Women and Child Development Ministry has said that there are a total 577 COVID-19 orphans identified across the country.

When a child turns 18 years old, he or she will draw a monthly stipend from the corpus of ₹10 lakh in order to meet expenses for personal needs and higher education. On reaching the age of 23 years, the child will get the entire ₹10 lakh, according to an official statement.

The government will also assist such children with school education. They will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. If the child is admitted in a private school, the school fees will be paid from the PM CARES fund as per norms under the Right To Education Act, 2009. PM CARES will also meet expenses on uniform, text books and notebooks.

Children in the age group of 11-18 years will also have the option to study in a residential school under the Central government such as Sainik School and Navodaya Vidyalaya.

These children will also be supported during their higher education through either scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees or educational loans where the interest on the loan will be paid by the PM CARES fund.

All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme with a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh, where the premium amount will be paid by PM CARES till a child turns 18.

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