Jammu & Kashmir begins compiling list of COVID-19 orphans for education grant

Express News Service
SRINAGAR:  With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on many families, snatching both parents in several cases, the Jammu and Kashmir administrator has directed all the 20 deputy commissioners (DC) to compile a list of children orphaned by the pandemic in the Union Territory. 

Secretary of the social welfare department Sheetal Nanda told The New Indian Express that the DCs have been asked to submit the list to the department by June 20. 

Last week, the J&K Administrative Council, headed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, had approved the grant of financial relief through the Special Assistance Scheme for COVID mortalities (SASCM/Saksham) to extend scholarship to students, who have lost their parents or earning legal guardians to the pandemic.

The special financial assistance applies only to the domiciles of the Union Territory. The special scholarship will be paid annually at the rate of Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 through direct benefit transfer (DBT) to children studying up to Class 12 and in colleges, respectively.

Director of the social welfare department of Kashmir Bashir Ahmad said a joint account will be opened for the transfer of scholarship and the beneficiary can operate the account through his/her legal guardian till such time he/she becomes eligible to operate the account independently.

He added that the scholarship will be released at the start of the academic year. “The amount will be deposited in their bank accounts through DBT,” Ahmad said. He said for the children who are too young to go to school, the scholarship shall become operative from the date they are admitted to a school.