Ambitious scheme goes awry in Bihar


More than three lakh underprivileged women in several districts of Bihar are still waiting to receive the cash amount, which they are entitled to, after delivering a baby at a government hospital or a health centre.

The scheme — Janani Evam Bal Suraksha Yojna (JEBSY) — launched under NRHM on June 1, 2006, was aimed to promote institutional deliveries. In an effort to encourage more women to deliver in hospitals, the government had decided to offer such women a coupon of Rs 700 when they intimate the healthworkers or auxiliary nurse and midwife (ANM) about their pregnancy. Following the delivery, the woman was entitled to receive Rs 300 more for the post-natal care. And if the woman approached the health centre on her own, Rs 400 was supposed to be added to her allowance.

But an incentive of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,400 given to such mothers has gone for a toss in this part of the cow-belt. According to a report of Bihar State Health Society (the nodal agency designated to execute JEBSY), nearly three lakh women in Patna, Buxar, Madhubani, Begusarai, Araria and Vaishali districts have been waiting to receive the amount. In some classic cases, a few women have delivered their second child and are still waiting to get the incentive.

Taking a serious note of an ambitious scheme going awry, executive director of BSHS Ravi Parmar said directives had been issued to civil surgeons to clear the dues at the earliest. “I have released a sum of Rs 110 crore to the civil surgeons with the instruction that money should be handed over to the beneficiaries within 48 hours of delivery,” said Parmar.

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