Silchar, July 31: It was a sombre ambience at the conference hall of Cachar Deputy Commissioner on Saturday as 17 widows of COVID-19 victims from different parts of Cachar district received ex-gratia cheques under Chief Minister's Covid-19 Widows Support Scheme.
State Urban Development Minister and Guardian Minister for Cachar district Ashok Singhal gave away the cheques worth Rs 2.50 lakh per widow to 14 beneficiaries who attended the distribution ceremony.
"Unlike other occasions, when we feel happy while launching new schemes, distributing the cheques under the Chief Minister's Covid-19 Widows Support Scheme has made our hearts heavy as the recipients who have lost their husbands because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is the farsighted step of Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who felt the families hit by COVID-19 need financial support and hence the humble effort is being accorded to the widows in Cachar district alike in other districts as well," Singhal maintained.
Later, talking to the media, Singhal informed that the Government would also provide fixed deposit of over Rs 7 lakh per head to those children who lost both parents due to the pandemic. Lakhipur MLA Kaushik Rai also joined the Guardian Minister in handing over the cheques to the beneficiaries. In what could be called an emotional turnaround, the widows broke down into tears while receiving the cheques as both Singhal and Rai were seen consoling them with assurances of cooperation.
CEO of District Disaster Management Authority Jessica R Lalsim informed that a list of 44 widow beneficiaries was sent for approval, 17 names were approved while the remaining names are likely to be approved soon.