Now, women under SC or ST category and those below poverty line (BPL) will get Rs 700 after each delivery at a government hospital. Earlier, this was the practice for only first two deliveries. However, softening its stand, authorities of the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) claim that this rule has been altered to curb the maternal mortality rate. They have also relaxed the age limit of the first delivery to adolescence from 19 years.
“According to the new circulation, a few changes have been made in the JSY by the Central Government considering the maternal mortality rate. Benefits were given to women only for the first two deliveries, which were increasing health problems. Women from rural areas were not interested in the institutional deliveries as there was no benefit from the government,” informed Sudhakar Kokane, deputy director, state Family welfare department.
According to data available from the State Family Welfare Department of Maharashtra state, there were around 21 lakh women registered in Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) with the state government. Out of these, around 18.24 lakh deliveries took place in hospitals. “Around 96 per cent deliveries took place in the hospitals out of which 55 per cent deliveries were carried out in government institutions and the rest in private hospitals,” Kokane added.
“The government came up with the circular after an evaluation was carried out by National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) and a study report was published on Maternity Protection in India by Ministry of Labour and Employment, International Labour Organisation. According to the results, there is a need to increase the parity (the number of times a female has given birth) and the minimum age of the mother.
Earlier, only the mother who was 19 years of age or above was eligible for benefits. However, now even adolescent mothers will get benefits,” said Kokane.
According to Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), in Maharashtra, Rs 700 is given to the women from rural areas and Rs 600 to women from urban areas who deliver government hospitals. The state government has also increased the number of cities to 11 from five in the state that will now avail of the facility of Aadhar-connected accounts to credit financial assistance from this scheme.