The Covid-19 second wave has turned into a nightmare for kids who lost both parents to the pandemic and are finding it hard to avail Rs 5,000 monthly pension and other benefits because Covid-19 isn’t being mentioned in the death certificates of their parents in Madhya Pradesh.
With the virus claiming the lives of both the parents of many kids in the State, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government had announced a monthly pension scheme of Rs 5,000, also promising them free ration and free of cost education till graduation.
However, parents’ death certificates aren’t showing Covid-19 as the cause of death, making them ineligible for the benefits.
Hanushish Dehariya, one of such teens, has received a municipal death certificate of his father for normal death despite the fact he died of Covid in Bhopal last month. The boy was also infected with the virus for 12 days. Despite his mother Dr Divya breathing her last in the Covid-19 ward, the Betul Hospital is yet to issue a death certificate for the woman.
Hanushish’s father Girish Dehariya, a LIC agent by profession too had died at a private hospital in Bhopal on April 18 due to Covid-19 and was cremated as per safety protocol but the Bhopal Municipal Corporation issued him a normal death certificate later.
It’s one month and a half but the hapless boy is yet to receive the correct death certificates for his parents.
His mother was a Senior Assistant Professor (Physics) in a college and as per norms, the administration offers Rs 5 lakh on the death of government servants due to Covid-19 but the erroneous death certificate has stalled the benefit.
Besides, the government has also announced Rs 1-lakh compensation for those killed in the second wave of the pandemic but for Hanushish, a simple piece of paper has deprived him of all the benefits.
Speaking to News18 India, Class X student Hanushish said, “Like me, Covid-19 has orphaned lakhs of kids and we only urge the State government to issue Covid-19 death certificates so that we could avail benefits of government schemes.”
Saddened by two deaths in the family, Hanushish’s grandmother Kumud Bai claimed that both her son and daughter-in-law died of Covid-19 so they need justice and her grandson should get government benefits. “The State government is making tall promises so I demand that my grandson should be extended pension, education and other benefits,” added the elderly woman.
A housewife Preeti Dubey of Bhopal also claimed that her husband had died of Covid-19 at a private hospital but the municipal corporation offered her death certificate for a normal death. “I need a proper death certificate so that I could avail benefits of the government scheme and could take care of my kids,” said Preeti, who has three daughters.
Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang on the issue clarified that the government has no intention of hiding anything or it hasn’t issued any guidelines. The municipal death certificates don’t mention the cause of disease, he added saying whoever is eligible for benefits, will get the same.
Meanwhile, it remains to see how people like Hanushish and his old grandmother manage to surpass the tedious web of red tape to get their justified dues after losing their dear ones.
Madhya Pradesh from March 2020 to May 31, 2021, has reported 8,067 deaths to Covid-19 officially while large numbers of kin of victims allege that they are not getting proper death certificates while several others claim that actual casualties due to the virus are much higher than the official data.