Chennai, June 28(BPNS)
Chief Coordinator of AIADMK and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam(OPS) has urged the state government not to discriminate children who have lost one or both the parents to Covid -19 on the basis of income criteria while providing financial assistance. In a statement released on Monday, OPS said that all children who have been orphaned or lost one of the parents to Covid-19 be provided financial assistance.
He said that there are certain discriminatory provisions included in the operational guidelines issued for implementing the scheme and contended that 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 as one of the eligibility criteria for providing benefit from the scheme. The former Chief Minister said that this would lead to discrimination among children who have lost a parent. In the statement, the former Chief Minister said, “It would not be proper to consider the income criteria of the parents to decide whether the child is entitled to financial assistance for his/ her education, as it decides the child’s future.”
The chief coordinator of the AIADMK urged the Chief Minister to personally intervene in the matter to ensure that children were not discriminated against and that they received the financial assistance as they have already lost a parent.
In the operational guidelines of the scheme if one or both the deceased parents are Government/ Quasi-Government , Public sector undertakings servants, the children are not eligible and O Pannerselvam wants the Chief Minister to remove this and to avoid consideration for financial assistance based on the income of the family.
It may be noted that under the scheme announced by the Chief Minister last month, a deposit of Rs 5 lakh would be made in the name of children who have lost both the parents due to Covid -19. The deposit would be paid to the child along with the accrued interest when he/ she attains the age of 18 years.
The operational guidelines said that in case the child loses one of the parents due to Covid-19, a sum of Rs 3 lakh would be granted to the other parent provided that the child qualifies all other eligibility criteria.