Guwahati: The Assam government on Sunday announced that it will give Rs 2.5 lakh each to all widows, whose husbands died of COVID-19, if their family income is less than Rs 5 lakh.

Under the new ‘Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Widows Support Scheme’, the beneficiaries of ‘Orunodoi’ and ‘Widow Pension’ schemes are also eligible for the one-time financial assistance.

“Many precious lives were lost due to #COVID19, leaving a number of families in distress. In our sincere effort to provide some relief to women whose husbands died of the disease, Rs 2.5 lakh will be given to such eligible widows as one time grant,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.

As per the scheme, the beneficiary’s husband should have been a COVID-positive patient at the time of the death and it should be certified by the State-Level COVID Death Audit Board.

“The beneficiary must belong to a low-income family having an annual income up to Rs 5 lakh,” the scheme details mentioned.

It, however, stated that widows of government servants will not be covered under this scheme as they get the family pension as per usual norms.

“The Deputy Commissioner shall compile the list of eligible beneficiaries from the NHM database of COVID victims.

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The list will be verified keeping in mind the eligibility criteria. On verification, the money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries’ accounts,” the scheme document said.

Any person, who meets the eligibility criteria and is not a part of the final list, can submit representation with supporting documents to the DC concerned, it added.

According to the National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin, a total of 4,403 persons have died in Assam due to COVID-19.

The NHM also said that 1,347 more COVID-19 patients have died, but the government’s Death Audit Board has not included them in the tally of deaths caused by the virus as they had other ailments too.

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