TN Govt Expands Covid-19 Aid to Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Families Out of Camp
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday launched a program to provide cash assistance of Rs 4,000 each to 13,553 Sri Lankan Tamil refugee families living outside refugee camps to alleviate their hardships facing Covid-19. The initiative, launched for the first time, aims to expand the cash assistance program implemented for rice ration card holders and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in government refugee camps and will cost the Public treasury 5.42 crore rupees.
After the Commission for the Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils, Chennai, informed that Lankan Tamil refugees outside the camps do not receive any government assistance and recommended the cash assistance program to them, the government of Tamil Nadu issued an order and awarded them Rs 5.42 crore, according to an official statement. Following this, the Chief Minister launched the program bringing relief to five families today.
Minister of Minority Welfare, Non-Resident Tamil Welfare, Refugees and Evacuees KS Masthan, Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu, Secretary of Public Department (Rehabilitation) D Jagannathan and Commissioner for Rehabilitation and welfare of non-resident Tamils, Jacintha Lazarus, were among those present on the occasion. As of June 1, 58,822 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees (18,944 families) have been accommodated in 108 mainstream refugee camps and one special camp, all run by the government.
About 34,122 refugees (13,553 families) have chosen to reside outside the camps and are registered with the police, the government decree said. Many of the refugees outside the camps are poor and earn a living as suppliers of water cans, photographers, assistants in service apartments and informal sector jobs such as painters and tailors.
Most of the refugees outside the camps live in urban areas renting houses and sending their children, mostly to private schools.
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