The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in its second meeting on Thursday, approved guidelines for the Rs 101 crore Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana.
Orphans and those staying with their relatives, especially disabled children, destitute women and senior citizens have been brought under the ambit of the scheme, an official statement said.
The orphan children, referred to as 'Children of the State', will be adopted by the government. The Cabinet also recommended to the Governor to convene the Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha from March 14 to April 6. It would have 18 sittings.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who chaired the meeting, decided to refurbish the existing shelter homes, orphanages, old-age homes, etc., under the Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana to provide better facilities to the inmates.
Facilities like common rooms, smart classes and coaching rooms, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, music room, attached washrooms and other modern amenities will be made available for the inmates of ashrams.
Integrated complexes will be constructed in a phased manner for destitute women and senior citizens and orphans with all basic amenities. These modern integrated complexes will be set up at Jawalamukhi in Kangra district and Sundernagar in Mandi district.
To provide quality education for the children living in orphanages, adequate coaching will be given. Besides, reference books and other study material will also be made available.
Selected eminent persons from society will serve as mentors and will provide counselling to such children from time to time, said the statement.
The Cabinet decided that the orphan children after attaining the age of 18 years will be provided board and lodging in after-care institutions till he attains 27 years of age.