BHUBANESWAR: It seems the Odisha government has no ‘Mamata’ (affection) to the pregnant women in the state as they are deprived of their legitimate rights.
Even though the Odisha government has launched ‘Mamata Scheme’ for the pregnant and lactating women in the state, about 2.33 lakh eligible beneficiaries are yet to get maternity benefits under the scheme.
According to government figure, the state government has failed to disburse financial assistance to about 2.33 lakh eligible beneficiaries under the scheme by July 26 this year.
The state government had asked the district officials to disburse maternal benefits after it found that 2.59 lakh eligible beneficiaries had not received benefits under the scheme by 30 May this year.
“The clearances of all these pending cases is being emphasized in the district social welfare officer (DSWO) conference as well as in collectors’ conference from time to time. In spite of that about 2.33 lakh eligible beneficiaries are not paid for different installments till date,” said Prasanth Kumar Reddy, Social Welfare Director.
In a letter to all district collectors, Reddy asked to undertake a special drive to identify all the eligible Mamata beneficiaries and ensure timely fund disbursement.
“Further a special review on Mamata may be conducted to ensure 100% coverage under Mamata scheme,” he added.
Under the scheme, pregnant women registered with Anganwadi centres receive Rs. 5,000 in four installments through bank accounts.
The installments have been designed to ensure that the beneficiary gets cash assistance every three months. The last installment would be given on completion of measles immunization, said an official.
Govt Decides To Provide In Two Installments
The state government has decided that the fund would be disbursed in two phases.
Dharanidhar Nanda, deputy secretary of Women and Child Welfare department, said the government has decided to provide the cash assistance in two installments.
Pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age and above for the first two live births will get benefit from the scheme. The scheme was launched in 2011.
The major aims of the benefit scheme are to provide partial wage compensation for pregnant and nursing mothers so that they are able to rest adequately during their pregnancy and after delivery.