Reported By : Christie Maria James, Officer – Gender Mainstreaming
Allahabad: As per the estimates, around 47,000 pregnant women or new mothers die each year in India. Lack of access to institutional deliveries is one of the prime reason which contributes to such a scenario. Lack of awareness about Government supported schemes is another challenge which obstructs families from accessing institutional care, especially families hailing from the lower economic strata of the society, battling poverty and illiteracy.
When the staff of MMKS, one of the partner organisation of IGSSS, observed that such reluctance to access institutional care prevailed in Chhatnag village, one of the target village where they were implementing the Positive Fatherhood Programme, they decided to spread awareness.
Their first challenge came in the form of the soon to be mother, 36 year old Guddi, a native of the village. Her two other children were born at home and she believed that home based delivery is the best option for her. Besides, her family survived through earning from daily wage labour and she had no money to spend on institutional delivery.
But following strenuous sensitization meeting with Guddi, she finally agreed with the MMKS team and gave her consent for institutional delivery. The MMKS team supported her to access the institutional care through Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). She followed all the necessary immunization and medical requirements and gave birth to a baby girl. Besides, as part of the scheme, she also received Rs.14,000. Both the mother and the child are keeping well now. Guddi is very happy about her newly gained knowledge on the importance of safe child birth through institutional delivery process, which was conducted free of cost through government sponsored welfare schemes.
The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which ensures cash transfers to women who give birth in a health facility, is hailed as a successful model across the world towards reduction of maternal and infant mortality.