Covid-orphaned siblings get notice to pay loans

Covid-orphaned siblings get notice to pay loans

2022-03-21 01:33:35

Rajesh Sharma


Aryan and Suman Preet, the two siblings from Lower Badehra village of Haroli in Una district, were orphaned on May 12 last year when their mother Anju Devi died of Covid. 

Aryan (15.5 years) and his sister are being looked after by foster mother Karmi Devi, who lives next to their one-room house in the village. Their father died due to heart attack a few months before Anju Devi’s death. 

Ten months after being orphaned, the situation of the siblings is turning from bad to worse. Their father had borrowed Rs 75,000 from the village cooperative society to start a small eating joint. After his death, Anju Devi borrowed another Rs 50,000 to add some furniture to the shop. 

The shop has now been taken over by Aryan’s relatives. However, as per the passbooks updated till October 20, 2021, the loan amount has mounted to Rs 1.6 lakh. The society has started sending notices to Aryan for repayment of the loans, but the siblings have no answers. “Society Secretary says he had called a general house, where the members decided against waiving the loans,” said Karmi Devi, the foster mother.

A cheque for Rs 50,000 was given to Aryan on his mother’s death but he cannot withdraw it from the bank until he turns 18. He also does not have the right to sell a part of his ancestral land till that age, but the interest on the loans keeps piling up.

Aryan said he and his sister had a separate BPL ration card, but they had not been included in the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Under the ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme, all Covid-orphaned children have to be brought under the ambit of the national health insurance scheme. 

Satnam Singh, District Programme Officer of the Mother and Child Development Department, said foster mother Karmi Devi was being given a monthly assistance of Rs 2,500 per child. He said on attaining the age of 18, every child would be eligible to get Rs 10 lakh fund to be utilised  for their higher education or self-employment needs.

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