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Janani Suraksha scheme gets Cabinet approval

By Our Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 30. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Janani Surakshi Yojana, the maternity benefit scheme that will replace the National Maternity Benefits Scheme.

It will be an important component of the National Rural Health Mission announced in the Union Budget.

To be fully sponsored by the Centre, it is meant for women aged 19 years and above, belonging to below poverty line families. The women will benefit under the scheme for first two live births.

However, in the 10 Low Performing States — Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranachal, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir — the scheme will be applicable up to third birth also, provided the beneficiary opts for sterilisation immediately after delivery.

The scheme aims at reduction in maternal and infant mortality and seeks to focus on providing benefits to the pregnant women of below poverty line families and to encourage antenatal care, institutional deliveries and provision for post-partum care which is important not only for the health of the mother but has significant effect on the health and survival of the newborn. It will become operational on April 1, 2005.

Unlike under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme, grant-in-aid under the Janani Suraksha Yojana will be sent to the State Departments of Family Welfare and the beneficiaries can avail of the scheme even on delivery in a recognised private health institution.

The scheme provides for monetary incentives to the mother and the health worker who delivers the baby ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 800 as per the set guidelines for rural and urban areas.

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