TNI Bureau: Odisha government has recently extended the purview of the ‘Mamata’ scheme, the cash-for-pregnancy benefit for pregnant women, to include the urban pockets.
The state government announced the same on Monday. As per this scheme, pregnant women above 19 years of age in the state will be given Rs 5,000 in four installments during and after pregnancy.
The first installment will carry a sum of Rs 1500 which she will get after six months of pregnancy, the second installment is also of Rs 1500 which she will get after their child becomes three months old and the two other installments are of Rs 1000 each which she will be given after the child attains six and nine months respectively.
The scheme further provides that all women registered with the ‘Anganwadis’ except family members of government and public sector employees irrespective of their financial status, are qualified to avail the benefit for the first two pregnancies.
However, announcement of this scheme ahead of the forthcoming municipal elections in 2013 can very well be seen as a scheme to woo women for political reasons. Earlier, the government had launched this scheme for rural women in 2011 on the eve of the panchayat polls.
This is the second major state government-funded social welfare programme after the Rs 2 per kg rice scheme.