The central government on Tuesday has extended Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) to the Anganwadi workers and helpers on COVID-19 duty. These beneficiaries will get medical coverage of Rs 50 lakh under this government health insurance scheme.
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The PMGKY scheme has been extended to cover all Anganwadi workers and helpers who have been involved in COVID activities throughout the pandemic. The decision has been taken to provide financial assistance to these community workers who have to come in direct contact with COVID-19 patients regularly and are at the risk of contracting the disease.
As per the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the PMGKY scheme is expected to cover almost all Anganwadi workers and helpers as most of them were on COVID-19 duty. As per the data by the Ministry, about 13,29,000 Anganwadi workers and 11,79,000 Anganwadi helpers are expected to benefit from the extension of this scheme.
Anganwadi workers and helpers have been involved in COVID-19 activities, such as creating awareness on COVID-19, providing support for home quarantine, door-to-door ration distribution, COVID-19 vaccination, interacting with COVID-19 affected families, taking care of COVID-19 positive pregnant women, community fever surveillance, etc.
Previously, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provided coverage to frontline health workers only. But with this move, the scheme will cover Anganwadi workers and helpers as well.
Moreover, the PMGKY scheme will provide coverage to the eligible Anganwadi workers and helpers in retrospect. It will apply since the date COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2020.
The Ministry has notified all state governments to identify the Anganwadi workers and helpers, who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic as frontline warriors, and share the list.
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