The AIADMK coordinator said income criteria must not be considered in the cases of these children, when it comes to their benefiting from the scheme announced by the TN government
AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam on Monday urged the State government not to discriminate based on income criteria while extending financial assistance to children, who have lost a parent to COVID-19. All children, who have been orphaned or lost one of their parents to the pandemic should be granted assistance, he said in a statement.
Flagging what he called certain “discriminatory” provisions in the operational guidelines issued for implementing the scheme, Mr. Panneerselvam contended that some people suspect that such provisions were intended only to reduce the number of beneficiaries under the scheme.
The operational guidelines issued for implementing the scheme by the Social Welfare Department, mention the annual income of the parents of the child as one of the eligibility criteria to benefit from the scheme. “This would lead to discrimination among children who have lost a parent. It would not be proper to consider the income criteria of the parents to decide whether the child is entitled for financial assistance for his/her education, as it decides the child’s future,” Mr. Panneerselvam said.
The AIADMK leader urged the Chief Minister to personally intervene in this matter to ensure that children were not discriminated against, and that they received the financial assistance as they have already lost a parent.
According to the operational guidelines of the scheme, in cases where a child has lost one parent due to COVID-19 and the deceased is the only breadwinner, instead of seeking the income certificate of the deceased, it shall be verified that his/her name is found in the list of approximately 60 lakh BPL families identified and maintained by the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Women Development.
“In case where the name of the parent is not found in the above said list, immediate steps shall be taken to ascertain whether such family is eligible for inclusion in the list of BPL families and if eligible, action shall be taken by the District Collector concerned to include the family in the BPL family database,” it said. In the case where both/ single deceased parents are Government / Quasi-Government / Public Sector undertaking servants, they are not eligible under the scheme.
Under the scheme announced by the Chief Minister last month, a deposit of ₹5 lakh would be made in the name of children who have lost both parents due to COVID-19. The deposit would be paid to the child along with the accrued interest when he/she completes 18 years of age.
The operational guidelines said in case a child lost one of their parents to COVID-19, a sum of ₹3 lakh would be granted to the other parent provided that the case qualified other eligibility criteria.
For more details about the eligibility criteria and others for benefiting from the scheme, access the G.O. on The Hindu portal on http://bit.ly/TNCOVIDChildren
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