By S. Ramachandran
In his address to the nation on December 31, 2016, Modi announced that Rs 6,000 will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children.
He tweeted claiming it was a ‘new’ scheme.
Well, the truth is...
The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 focused on the nutritional support to women and children. Apart from meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after child birth, they are also entitled to maternity benefit of not less than Rs 6,000.
Even after three years of the Act being passed, the benefit has not been implemented in any state.
Tamil Nadu is the only state implementing the benefit.
In November 2016, ahead of a Right to Food campaign across India, more than 60 academics wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi urging him to implement the provision of National Food Security Act. “The nation is paying a heavy price for this violation of the Act. Maternity entitlements are essential to address India’s staggering problem of low birth weights, poor maternal health and severe hardship during pregnancy.” the letter said.
Modi in his narcissist usual had not even mentioned about the National Food Security Act or Right to Food campaign.
Here is another scheme. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana is a maternity benefit scheme, providing cash transfer for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years or older for first two live births. It is operational in 52 districts all over the country. There are certain Eligibility Conditions which contributed to its failure, like; Registering pregnancy at the Anganwadi centre ; Attending at least one 3 counselling session at the Anganwadi or healthcare centre; Registering the birth of the child; Immunization of the child at birth, at six weeks and at 10 weeks.
Well good intention, but village women folk has to go back to their livelihood works and not willing to abide by the Conditions.
The ‘bakth’; ‘Atleast Modiji implemented this benefit after 70 years, err.,, 3 years after he became PM.’
Me; ‘He could have done it in 2013 in Gujarat’.
The ‘bakth’; ‘But he has done it at least now’.
Me; ‘But it is entitlement under the law and not his own welfare scheme as he projected in his monologue’.
The ‘bakth’; ‘You people always criticize Modi....never give him credit’.
Me; ‘I am not criticizing Modi, but the people who beg for their lawful entitlements.’
So... the Modi Brand tamasha is going on and on.