India: COVID-19 orphans in Andhra Pradesh to get Rs1 million as fixed deposit

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has announced a special scheme to help children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19. Image Credit: ANI

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has announced a new initiative to help children whose parents have died of COVID-19.

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has said that under the new policy an amount of Rs 1 million would be paid as fixed deposit in the name of a child who has lost both parents due to COVID-19.

The amount will help generate a monthly income of Rs 5,000 to take care of the day to day expenses of the child, and he/she will get the entire deposited amount on reaching the age of 25.

Announcing the initiative on the floor of the state Assembly, Reddy said: “It is very painful to see such children who lost both mother and father due to COVID-19. In the second wave we have seen entire families are getting affected,” he said. He hoped that the new policy will help all such children and their future would be secured with the money deposited in their names.

The state has already started implementing the scheme and the collectors of different districts have handed over the cheques to 34 beneficiaries.

As the correct figure of the victims of COVID-19 was yet to emerge officially, and there were allegations of government undercounting the deaths, many social activists have expressed fears that benefits of any such schemes may not reach all the affected children.

Meanwhile, bowing to pressure of the teachers’ unions and parents, Andhra Pradesh government has postponed the Class X Board examinations. While last year these examinations were cancelled and all the students were declared passed, this year the state government wants to conduct the exams after the pandemic situation improves.