176 COVID widows get one-time financial aid under Assam scheme

Beneficiaries of ‘Orunudoi’ and ‘Widow Pension’ schemes are also eligible for aid under the scheme.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday extended a one-time financial aid of Rs 2.5 lakh each to 176 women under the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Widows Support Scheme.

873 women who have lost their husbands to COVID during the two waves of the pandemic, have been identified as of now under the scheme.

Among the beneficiaries who received the financial aid at a programme at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra here on Sunday, 35 were from Nalbari district, 34 from Nagaon, 24 each from Morigaon and Kamrup, 21 from Baksa, 20 from Kamrup Metro, 11 from Goalpara and seven women from Darrang district.

Guardian ministers have been directed by the chief minister to disburse the cheques to the remaining beneficiaries in their respective districts during the coming weekend.

“Many precious lives have been lost during the ongoing pandemic. Through this scheme, we want to provide some relief and security to our mothers and sisters who have lost their husbands to COVID-19,” Chief Minister Sarma said while addressing the beneficiaries present at the auditorium.

Among other eligibility criteria, the husband of the beneficiary should have died with a COVID positive status at the time of death, which should be certified by the state-level COVID Death Audit Board. The beneficiary must belong to the low-income family having an annual income less than Rs 5 lakh.

Beneficiaries of ‘Orunudoi’ and ‘Widow Pension’ schemes are also eligible for aid under the scheme. However, widows of government servants will not be covered under this scheme.

As far as implementation of the scheme is concerned, the deputy commissioner (DC) will compile the list of eligible beneficiaries from the National Health Mission database of COVID victims once the eligible persons apply directly to the DC of the concerned district for benefit under the scheme. The list will be verified keeping in mind the eligibility criteria.

On verification, the money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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