Government violates NFSA, thousands of women deprived of maternity benefits; reveals survey -Jaideep Deogharia

-The Times of India

RANCHI: Noted economist Jean Dreze has accused the Centre of violating National Food Security Act by depriving a section of women from maternity benefits which is otherwise guaranteed under NFSA-2013.

Survey conducted by Sakina Dhorajiwala of Libtech India along with students from Delhi University, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Tata Institute of Social Service (TISS) and Ranchi University in June 2019 has revealed that out of 232 eligible women interviewed in six blocks of Jharkhand (involving 42 gram panchayat and 116 anganwadi sevika) revealed that 155 women corresponding to 76% received nothing while only 48 women received the first instalment and just 13 of them received all three instalments meant for pregnant mothers under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna (PMMVY).

While sharing the figures and claiming poor implementation of the scheme, Dreze said that PMMVY violates the NFSA-2013 by restricting the benefits to mothers bearing the first child. “Around 60% women are excluded immediately when the scheme is restricted to first child and in case of infant mortality it deprives the poor and illiterate woman from getting any maternal benefit if she conceives for the second time,” he said. Dreze further mentioned that section 4 of NFSA -2013 promises to give Rs.6000 as maternity benefit whereas under PMMVY only Rs.5000 is given in instalments after completion of complex paper formalities.

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The Times of India, 4 September, 2019,

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