Family battles for survival after being denied Covid relief.

Anmol Kumar, 18, lost his father Umesh Kumar to Covid-19 . The family was left to fend for itself without formal assistance or support .

Anmol doesn't come home and crash as his fellow students after attending day-long classes at the BSc (Medical) first year.Instead, he reboots and goes to a call center in Mohali, where he goes till 3:30 a.m.Since his father's death, the 18-year-old has been living at a gruesome pace, requiring just two hours of sleep a day to support his mother and younger sister.During the second wave, Umesh Kumar, the sole breadwinner of the family, died on April 9, 2021.

Rajni and her two children, Anmol, and Aastha, who are in standard VI, were told by authorities that last year was difficult.Officials advised us that there was a website where we could go and upload the documents.I first uploaded the death certificate to them, and they asked for a Covid-19 positive report.I just received a phone call from PGI stating that my husband is healthy and that he died of Covid-19.

My brother Rajneesh tried to check the status of his website online, but it didn't open, according to Rajni.The family was left to fend for itself without any formal assistance or support.When Anmol was 17 years old when Umesh, a senior assistant at DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, passed away, the family went to the Social Welfare Departments Child Welfare Committees office to see if they could get a refund of the fees paid (Rs 36,000) as per the Parvarish scheme of the UT administration to assist families who had lost one of their two parents to Covid-19.Anmol was also entitled to Rs 5,000 per month for every month until he turned 18 years old, according to the scheme.

We brought Anmols fee slip, but the authorities remained unstuck.Since the help of her teachers, Aastha began receiving monetary assistance of Rs 5,000 a month.Aastha attends a private school that asks the family to deposit her fee this year, and it is the only support the family is receiving, said Rajneesh.No one from the CWC informed the family or the school that a child who lost a parent to Covid would be eligible for the EWS quota and a reduced fee, which will be reimbursed by the Department of Education.The program further states that a maximum of Rs 50,000 (admission, tuition fee, and examination fee) will be offered to young adults pursuing a three-year degree or equivalent degree in Chandigarh or elsewhere in the region.

Before being hired by a call center, Anmol worked as a Zomato delivery boy.I get Rs 20,000, of which the bulk goes into our rent and everyday expenses.Any little money I save pays for my college tuition, which is Rs 30,000 per semester.We assumed that the government and the central government would help us, but we were wrong, said Anmol.Rajni, a post-graduate in commerce, who has been attempting to find a job but it has failed.We even approached my father's hospital, but they told us it wasn't possible, said Anmol.

However, Rajni said that he has to look after his own family when he was diagnosed with Covid disease at DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh.Umesh continued to remain at home under observation until he was given a Covid-19 kit by a health department.On April 6, doctors referred him to GMSH, Sector 16, after his oxygen levels dropped to 91.On the evening of April 8, the family moved him to GMCH, Sector 32.

He died three hours later.Benefits are only given on paperWhen asked about the grants offered to families that have lost one or both parents, Nikita Pawar, Secretary, Social Welfare Department, UT, said, Mates are given Rs 5,000 a month, while those under the age of 18 are paid the college fee, which is set at Rs 50,000 per month.Also, government schooling is free, and if the child is attending a private school, her fee is paid by the school and refunded by the school.When asked if there are families who haven't received the promised benefits, she replied, Please do send me those cases.Ina Rohtaki is a principal correspondent with, Cha...