GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday launched Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Widows Support Scheme at a programme held at Srimanta Sankardev International Auditorium in Guwahati in a bid to provide social and financial security to all widows who have lost their husbands in Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the scheme, a one-time financial assistance of Rs. 2.5 lakh would be given to such women who lost their husbands due to Covid. In order to claim entitlement to the scheme, the beneficiary’s husband should have died with a Covid positive status and the beneficiary must belong to low-income group with an annual income up to Rs. 5 lakh.
While launching the scheme, Sarma handed over cheque amounting to Rs. 2.5 lakh each to 176 beneficiaries belonging to eight districts namely Kamrup (Metro), Nalbari, Darrang, Baksa, Morigaon, Nagaon, Goalpara and Kamrup.
As many as 883 beneficiaries have become eligible under the scheme, as the chief minister handed over the remaining cheques to the guardian ministers to distribute them (cheques) to the entitled beneficiaries across the state.
Sarma said, “The occasion we have all assembled here is not a happy one, as the government is equally sad as much as the widows who have lost their husbands. Losing the loved ones is always painful. However, our government in its bid to provide a little support at this testing time, has decided to assuage the sufferings of the family members of the deceased with financial support”.
Sarma also said that the scheme has been launched to help the beneficiaries to lead a life of dignity in spite of pecuniary hardship that fate might lead them to in view of death of the head of the family.
The chief minister said that though Assam also bore the brunt of Covid-19 pandemic, the government is doing its level best to be with the affected people with its men and materials. He also said that the government has already launched Sishu Seva Scheme to secure the academic future of the children who have lost both their parents in Covid.
He said that to help other victims of the Covid 19 pandemic, the government is also creating budgetary support as he asked finance minister Ajanta Neog to make sizeable allocation of funds for the purpose.
Speaking on the occasion, health minister Keshab Mahanta gave an account of the state government’s line of actions to contain and control Covid-19 pandemic. Mahanta said that with the help of the chief minister, though the state government with its timely intensive and extensive interventions, the spread of the pandemic has been controlled, still the health department is working unrelentingly to bail the state out of the pandemic.
Apart from it, Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Widows Support Scheme, Covid induced widow will also be entitled to the benefits of Arunodoi scheme along with monthly widow pension under the ongoing Indira Miri Universal Widow Pension Scheme.
State food and civil supplies minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya, handloom and textile minister UG Brahma, agriculture minister Atul Bora, information and public relations minister Pijush Hazarika, education minister Ranuj Pegu, chief minister’s political secretary Jayanta Malla Baruah, guardian ministers, principal secretary to the chief minister Samir Kumar Sinha and host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.