Describing the PM-CARES for Children scheme as a determined step taken by the country for a golden future of children, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote individual letters to over 4,000 beneficiaries of the scheme on Monday, where he elaborated on its various benefits that the children who lost their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic can avail.
PM Modi also shared the experience of a similar tragedy his family suffered about a century ago and assured these children that the entire country stands with them in this difficult time.
The letter was shared by the women and child development ministry.
PM Modi said the PM CARES for Children scheme is a determined step taken by the country for these children's golden future.
"This scheme will ensure that you can dream freely and there is no lack of efforts in helping you realise your dreams," he said.
In the letter written in English, Hindi and regional languages, the Prime Minister shared a few things that his mother told him in his childhood.
He said his family also went through a similar tragedy and pain about 100 years ago.
"A century ago, when the entire world was in the grip of a terrible pandemic like today, my mother lost her mother i.e. my maternal grandmother. My mother was so young that she does not even remember her mother's face. She spent her entire life in the absence of her mother, without her affection. Imagine how she must have been brought up. Therefore, today, I can very well understand the anguish in your mind, the conflict in your heart," PM Modi said.
He said the presence of a parent is always a huge support for a child.
"Until now, your parents told you the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and guided you. Today, when they are not with you, your responsibilities have increased more than before," he said.
"It is not possible for anyone to fill this void in your life, but as your family, I assure you that you are not alone in your struggles, difficulties, and in your good and bad times. The entire country is with you," the Prime Minister added.
The benefits of the PM CARES scheme for children were enclosed with the letter. These benefits include free school education as well as loan assistance for higher education, health insurance of up to Rs 5 lakh till the age of 18 under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, payment of insurance premium by PM CARES and a monthly financial assistance for individual needs on attaining the age of 18 years.
The other benefits are - an assistance of Rs 10 lakh from PM CARES on the completion of 23 years of age, a scholarship of Rs 20,000 per annum for the students of Classes 1-12, the Karma Scholarship for skills training, the Swanath Scholarship for Technical Education, a scholarship of Rs 2.5 lakh per year for studying in higher education institutions (IITs, IIMs) and an ex-gratia amount of Rs 50,000.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister released the benefits under the PM CARES for Children scheme.
PM Modi transferred scholarships to school-going children. Also, a passbook of PM CARES for Children and a health card under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana were handed over to children.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)