Mamata scheme, a huge success

Bhubaneswar: "Mamata", an innovative scheme designed by Orissa government for protection and care of pregnant women and children, has made a headway with registration of 1,93,000 pregnant women within a month. The good response from the people has come to light in a high-level review meeting held here. "The scheme has been well responded by people in all the 30 districts," said Women and Child Development secretary Aarti Ahuja.

The state government undertook registration of pregnant women from September 5 before formal launching of the scheme. "By end of one month Ganjam district has registered highest number of 15,867 expecting women followed by Balasore registering 10,848, Mayrubhanj 10,664 and Keonjhar with 10,426," she said.

The department has placed a preliminary requirement of Rs 120 crore for the current financial year, she said adding that in the initial phase Rs 55 crore has been sanctioned to meet the expenditure for initial three months. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to launch the scheme very soon for the targeted group. The scheme aims at reducing maternal and infant mortality by improving health and nutritional status of pregnant mothers and their infants.

Pregnant women above 19 years of age will be covered under the scheme for first two births. Central and state government employees and PSU personnel will not be included in the scheme, they said adding that the eligible pregnant women will be provided financial assistance of Rs 5000 in four separate instalments for having additional nutrition and care.

While the first instalment of Rs 1,500 will be provided within 6 to 9 moths of pregnancy, the second instalment of Rs 1,500 to be released when the child becomes three months old. The third instalment of Rs 1,000 at 6 months of the child and the last instalment of Rs 1,000 will be provided in between 9 to 12 months of the child.

Money will be transferred to the bank account of the mother directly as she fulfills the specified criteria like getting her pregnancy registered in Anganwadi, taking health check up, getting herself immunised, registering the name of the new born child, immunising the child regularly, breast feeding the child, taking regular weighing of the child, mother attending the counselling centers at AWC on village health and nutrition day.

"Till today 1,15,000 expecting mothers have already opened their accounts in different banks," the chief secretary Bijaya Pattnaik said asking the officials to strengthen the monitoring and supervision mechanism at field level to ensure timely delivery of services and to check any possible vested interest.

Patnaik also suggested the WCD department to take up online registration of pregnant women by making use of the mother and child tracking soft ware which is being developed by Health and Family Welfare Department. The software is expected to be completed within five to six months, sources said.