Bhubaneswar: MAMATA a flagship conditional cash transfer maternity benefit scheme of the state was launched in September 2011. It’s prime aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality by improving the health & nutrition status of pregnant and lactating women and their infants. The scheme targets to motivate pregnant and lactating women to seek maternal and child health services and adopt optimal nutrition behaviours and practice. It intends to partially compensate wage loss for working women so that they can take adequate rest and nutritious diet during the critical periods of pregnancy and post pregnancy.
The pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for their first two live births, except all govt. / public sector undertakings (central and state) employees and their wives, will be eligible to get benefits under the scheme.
. The women receive Rs 5000/- in 2 tranches covering various stages of their pregnancy upon fulfilling certain conditions which are beneficial for their health and nutrition as well as their babies.
Under the scheme, money is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through ‘Direct Benefit Transfer’ (DBT).
MAMATA has already reached more than 38.89 lakhs pregnant and lactating women and more than 1810.76 crores amounts of funds transferred to their bank accounts successfully till date.
In Odisha MAMATA benefit has been extended to all Pregnant Women of PVTG communities for any number of live births. This provision, applicable since 2014 has now been further extended for another five years. It may be noted that in 2018 government had allowed this benefit to all Pregnant Women of PVTG communities irrespective of whether or not, they were residing in micro-project areas.
A success story of a PVTG mother-
Budai Dhangadamajhi, a poor Bonda tribal and mother of 3 children, in a tribal village Bandhaguda 15 k.m. away from Khairput block of Malkangiri. She lives lap of nature in a remote hilltop with poor communication facilities. She first enrolled under the scheme in 2011 through the local Anganwadi Worker. Budai and her husband earn their livelihood from Podu cultivation and daily wage labourers.
Budai pregnant for the first time in July 2011, when the MAMATA scheme was launched. She faced problems to open a bank account as the bank was located in Pangam, at a distance of 52 km from her village. However, the cash benefits came as a blessing for her nutritional support and medical emergencies during and after her pregnancy. She was able to take rest and avail health services in VHNDs at the AWC. She again enrolled under MAMATA after 03 years in 2014 with her 2nd pregnancy. In the same year cyclone Hudhud damaged their house completely. This time again, the cash benefits from MAMATA came as a blessing in disguise during her crucial period.
Later, in 2017 she received MAMATA benefits for her 3rd child as a PVTG mother. With effective counselling from the AWW, ASHA and ANM, she ensured birth spacing and institutional delivery of each child. She understood the importance of nutrition and immunization during pregnancy and post delivery period.
Budai reminisces the period clearly and narrates in elation, “the financial assistance of MAMATA was like a blessing for us.With my money I was able to take rest and take proper care of my baby. I also purchased fruits, vegetables and clothes for my baby in such a critical situation”.