Jammu and Kashmir government would take care of orphans and women hit by the killer earthquake, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed announced on Saturday.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has specifically called for looking after these unfortunate victims of the devastating calamity and government would take care of orphans and widows," he said addressing a public meeting in Poonch district of the state after distributing relief cheques among the quake victims.
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Families who have lost their only bread earner would also have to be provided succour, he said.
Pointing out that the devastating quake left many orphans and widows who need attention, he said several injured children brought to Srinagar for treatment have lost both parents and nobody is claiming them.
They have been lodged in the youth hostel for the time being and are awaiting permanent rehabilitation.
The chief minister called for coordinated efforts by the government and the society in this direction so that these children get proper education and are able to lead a normal life.
Sayeed said the government has started distribution of cash relief among the affected people for reconstruction of damaged houses. For fully damaged house, the owner would get Rs one lakh and as the first installment, Rs 40,000 was being disbursed.
The relief, he said, would be given through cheques only removing any possibility of corruption or middlemen.
Sayeed said the earthquake had caused extensive damage and that the death toll in the state has reached 1,250, as entire villages have been flattened.
However, he said that the extent of damage was greater across the Line of Control.
Several injured are yet to receive treatment and are developing gangrene, he said, adding in view of the enormity of the situation the prime minister had offered joint relief operations to Pakistan.
He welcomed Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's offer to open the LoC for people on each side to visit relatives in the hour of crisis.
Asking the Centre to identify points along the LoC for divided families to visit each other, he said a couple of such points of crossing over would have to be identified each in Poonch and Rajouri.
The chief minister lauded the PM for providing cross-LoC telephone facility at Tangdhar, Uri, Srinagar and Jammu and assured that he would take up with him the need to provide similar facility at Poonch and Rajouri also.
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