COVID-19 prevention: Proactive measures by SWD benefit lakhs of people in JK UT

Jammu: Proactive measures by the Social Welfare Department after the COVID- 19 outbreak have benefitted lakhs of people of Jammu and Kashmir Union territory.
Despite certain limitations, the department is effectively delivering welfare activities and measures among targeted beneficiaries.
During this period, the Department has reached out to around 20 lakh persons in the UT with welfare measures either in cash or in kind or through counseling or awareness programmes/visits.
About six lakh students have been awarded pre and post matric scholarships through DBT of Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA). Similarly, around six lakh old age persons/widows /persons with disabilities have been paid pensions of Rs 1000/-. Another tranche of Rs.1000/- shall be paid to them by April 15, 2020.
Likewise, 70 thousand NSAP (National Social Assistance Programme) beneficiaries are being provided Rs.500 as immediate ex-gratia, while 6.5 Lakh children in the age of 0 — 6 years, lactating and pregnant women and out of school adolescent girls have been provided one month supplementary nutrition during this period.
Funds have been placed at the disposal of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department/FCI to provide three month rice for the recipe to these 6.5 lakh beneficiaries entitled for supplementary nutrition. Distribution of ration has started from April 9.
Furthermore, Committees have been constituted for overall supervision of all the welfare institutions under the umbrella of Social Welfare Department i.e Directorate of Social Welfare Kashmir, Directorate of Social Welfare Jammu, ICPS, ICDS, Social Welfare Advisory, Women’s Development Corporation, for counseling on cleanliness, social distancing, providing masks, hand wash, sanitizers, health check-up requirement and any other important matter.
The committees so constituted have been visiting in their areas of operation and submitting weekly reports which are duly submitted to the High Court.
An amount of Rs. 125.00 Lakh has been provided to those children, who are in need of care and protection through Sponsorship scheme of ICPS.
In each District of the UT of J&K, 58 such children are being provided a monthly assistance per child @ Rs. 2000/-.
On account of well being of children in need of care and protection, five (5) such children have been shifted into SOS facilities, including two from District Anantnag, one from Srinagar, one from Ganderbal and one from Kathua in order to remove solitude when other children were taken away by parents/fit persons.
All Juveniles Justice Boards have been directed to process bail applications of inmates lodged at Observation Homes in the UT of J&K.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Women & Child Development and Ministry of Minority Affairs and Social Justice have been issuing instructions from time to time regarding mechanism to fight COVID-19, maintenance of mental & physical health and social distancing which are being disseminated through DSWOs, CWCs and other officials to the extent possible .
The Protection Officers(NIC) and Counselors of District Child Protection Units have been directed to provide counseling in CCIs/Homes through telephones.
The Supreme Court of India and Hon’ble High court of J&K have issued directions for looking after of welfare institutions like orphanages, Bal Ashram, Nari niketan, Old age homes, Blind Schools and Observation homes etc. All these instructions and directions have been implemented in letter and spirit and information disseminated to lowest ground of the department for better administration and coordination.
Guidelines issued by UNICEF and Ministry of Women Child & Development in the context have been circulated in the social media. Video Conferencing facilities have been restored in all the Juvenile Justice Boards and Observation Homes of the UT in the best interest of children in conflict with law.
Strict Instructions have been issued to all the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) to follow the guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in prevention and best interest of children lodged in various CCIs of the UT of J&K.
The functionaries of Social Welfare Department have been directed to take active participation in online training programmes conducted by the Ministry of Women & Child Development on three occasions.
Six NGOs operating in child care have been provided grant in-aid for one year.
The District Social Welfare Officer (DSW0s) in capacity of DCPOs have been provided funds to the tune of Rs 46.00 Lakh for procurement of Hand wash, sanitizers, masks etc. for distribution among targeted beneficiaries.

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