Assam Northeast

Assam introduces welfare schemes for Covid orphans and widows, targets to inoculate the entire state before August 15

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced two major welfare schemes for orphaned children and those windowed by losing husbands to COVID-19.

Sarma, during a media interaction marking the completion of one month of taking charge also spoke about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination and fight against drugs among other things.

Thursday marked the initiation of the Mukhya Mantri Sishu Seva Yojana under which 11 children who were orphaned, received financial assistance of Rs 3,500 for this month and a fixed deposit of Rs 7,81,200 against which, they will get Rs 3,500 monthly from next month till they get to the age of 24 year’s old. They have also received a laptop each.

“After the age of 24, they will get the principal amount too. Verification is going on and soon the other children will also receive the benefits under the scheme that covers both those orphaned with family support and without family support,” Sarma told at Guwahati after officially handing over the cheques under the scheme.

Under the scheme for those widowed due to COVID-19, one-time financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh will be provided to them while they will receive Rs 1130 — Rs 830 from Arunoday Scheme and Rs 300 from window pension scheme — monthly.

Sarma said the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund has received Rs 118 crore as donations that also included corporates like Reliance and Tata.

“Of the total money received, Rs 50 crore has been spent to procure vaccine while the rest were used for the two schemes,” Sarma said.

He said that all the payments under the welfare schemes, both recent and existing ones to the beneficiaries will be sent every month on this date, that is the 10th day of the month.

He further said, after the Centre stepped in to supply vaccines to the state governments from June 21, the state has saved about Rs 650 crore that was earmarked for procuring vaccines.

He also added that there’s a hint from the Centre that Assam may receive 3.5 lakh vacancies daily before July 1 and if that happens, Assam will be able to inoculate the whole state before August 15.

“Currently, we are focussing our vaccination more on epi centres which are the A-6 cities — Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Tezpur, Cachar and Nagaon — to contain its contamination,” Sarma said.

On drugs, Sarma said Assam has in the last one month have recovered narcotics worth close to Rs 24 crores of which, Rs 7.89 crore was heroin, 6.1p crore was marijuana, 9.02 crore unprescribed drugs and rest such as cough syrups, opiums, morphine etc.

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