Kejriwal announces a series of financial welfare schemes for children orphaned by Covid 2nd wave

Delhi CM Kejriwal announces Rs 50,000 ex gratia for families with a COVID death.

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Children who lost their parents due to Covid second wave will get ₹ 2,500 per month (till they turn 25) and free education, announced Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday, a series of welfare measures aimed at offering financial relief to disaster-hit families. 

"We may not be able to repair the loss of a loved one. But we can help you out in this dark hour. Any family that has had a Covid death will get ex gratia of Rs 50,000," Kejriwal declared at a press meet today.

“Common people have been facing a lot of difficulties because of the pandemic. Many of them have lost their loved ones. Several children have lost their parents. Several elderly people have lost their children on whom they were dependent. We cannot replace these lives or reduce their grief. We are only trying to help them, for which we have four announcements,” Kejriwal stated at an online briefing.

Mr Kejriwal also stated that 72 lakh people from poor families will be given 10kg of free rations this month; half will be provided by the ruling AAP government and the rest under the central scheme. He added that the rations will be given without proof of low income, as is normally the case.

"Each month 5 kg ration is given at a subsidised rate. But this month they (poor families) will get it free. Over and above this another 5 kg is being given under PM's schemes... so a total of 10 kg of ration will be given free this time," Mr Kejriwal said in a brief televised statement.

"Not everyone has a ration card and they can't be issued at such short notice... so, in good faith whoever says they need free ration because they are poor, will get it," he added.

Kejriwal informed that these schemes were followed during the first wave, and will remain in place. 

"If the husband was the sole earning member, the wife will get the amount and vice versa. If the person was unmarried, parents will get it. We understand your pain. We know we cannot do anything to bring them back but we will support you financially to the best of our abilities," the Chief Minister said.

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"There are 72 lakh ration card holders in Delhi and they're given 5 kg ration by the govt every month. This month, the ration will be given free of cost. Besides this, an additional 5 kg free ration is being given by the Central Govt. So they're being given a 10 kg free ration this month. Those who do not have ration cards but are poor will also be given ration by Delhi Govt. They need not produce their income certificate, they just need to tell us that they are poor and they want ration," Kejriwal further added. 

Delhi has a large number of people who are poor but still do not have ration cards, such poor people will also be eligible for free ration being distributed by the Delhi government, the CM said adding that those people won’t have to show income certificates to avail ration. 

Kejriwal and his ministers have been discussing these schemes for the last few days and the finance management to facilitate them. 

“People must be wondering where the money will come from. Six years ago, you voted for an honest government. With our anticorruption model and efficient management of resources, we have saved money on many fronts. We have drawn a proper model considering all aspects where money can be saved. All our ministers have been working on it over the last few days,” Kejriwal added. 

Delhi on Tuesday recorded 4,482 covid cases, the lowest single-day rise since April 5 and saw 265 fatalities in the last 24 hours, while the positivity rate dipped to 6.89 per cent. The national capital was put under stricter lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus that caused immense pressure on the healthcare facility and crematorium. 

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"We have been witnessing good recovery following lockdown. Cases have declined. We don't want to lose the gain... extending the lockdown for one more week," Mr Kejriwal said Sunday.