Poor implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana - Reasons

Poor implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana - Reasons

Question:-The implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana has been neglected since its launch. Explain the scheme and also mention the reasons for its poor implementation. Also mention how does the poor implementation affects the society?

The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) is a Centrally sponsored scheme. It was launched by the Government of India in 2010 under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

IGMSY is being implemented in the Anganwadi centers of 52 districts of the country. These districts are selected on the basis of a pilot study conducted. The districts were selected on the basis of six indicators. The factors were:

- Literate female population

- Institutional births

- Mothers registered in the first time period when they were pregnant with last live

- Children who are fully immunized. The age group of children was considered between the 12-23 months.

- Children breastfed within one hour of birth.

The scheme had certain objectives to meet in the long run. The main aim of the scheme was to improve the health and nutrition status of Pregnant and Lactating women and their young infants by :

- Promoting the practices such as providing care during the period of pregnancy and safe delivery.

- Encouraging the women to follow the practices of Infant and Young Child Feeding. It also encourages the women to breastfeed the infant for the first six months.

- Contributing to create a better environment by giving cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and lactating women.

The IGMSY confers its benefits on pregnant women who are above the age of 19 years. It also extends its benefits to the pregnant women of the unorganized sectors. Women are entitled to the benefits of this scheme only for their first two live births. The employees of the Government or Public Sector Undertakings cannot enjoy the benefits of this scheme as they are paid for the maternity leave.

Reasons for the poor implementation

Since the launch of the scheme, it was not implemented properly in most of the selected districts. Between the years of 2010 – 2013, only 28% of the target population was covered.

- Lack of commitment – The lack of commitment on part of the government is revealed through this year's budget allocation. The budget alloted for 2015-2016 is Rs 438 crores which as increase of Rs 80 crore from 2014-2015. The budget was increased due to the absence of the cost sharing between the Center and State.

- Early stage problem – A qualitative study about the IGMSY was conducted by the Center for Equity Studies in 2014. The survey covered the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The survey revealed that a lot of districts were being ignored under this scheme for the past three years due to the problems arising at the basic stage. One of the problem includes the low utilization of health care services.

- Misinformation – Most of the target women were unaware about the proper guidelines and the information was not interpreted properly. Due to the improper awareness by the government, women failed to demand their entitlements. The Anganwadi workers played an important role in communicating a wrong information. The Anganwadi workers in the state of Jharkhand stated that a three years gap is necessary between the birth of the first and second child in order to get the benefits of this scheme. This information entirely turned out to be a false one.

- Difficulty in account opening – Under the scheme of IGMSY, the cash is deposited only into the accounts. Large section of rural masses are not included into country's banking infrastructure. The process of opening an account was time consuming as the banks and the post offices were located far away from the villages. The process was also expensive as the scheme demanded a balance of Rs 50 -100 in the post offices and Rs 500 – 1000 in banks.

- Implementation cells – The guidelines of IGMSY demands a creation of the State and District implementation cells. The study revealed that most of the cells were absent or they were not fully staffed. There was an absence of monitoring and a lack of quality record keeping.

- Delayed payment – In most of the districts, none of the women received their first installment cash during the pregnancy. In states like Bihar and Jharkhand, the entire amount was given when the child is around a year old. Such kind of delays restrict the scheme to attain its goal.

Effects of poor implementation on the society

- Exclusion of large section – The scheme has been excluding a majority of women from receiving the benefits. Around 60% of the women are deprived of the benefits just because they belong to the tribal or Dalit communities or are least literate.
In few districts, the women are deprived of the benefits as they do not fall under the eligibility criteria.

- High mortality rate – Due to the improper implementation of the scheme, there are poor availability of health care centers. There is a less possibility of the survival of a baby. Despite of such an issue, the state has issued a fine on women for having more than two living children.

- Poor nutrition – As most of the women are deprived of the maternity benefits, it forces them to continue with the physical work. Due to less food security, they do not get sufficient nutrition during the pregnancy period.

- Inadequate facility – Due to the less health centers, most of the women prefer to deliver the child at home. Due to improper implementation of the schemes, less health centers come up in the districts and thus, even the complicated pregnancies are attended by the relatives of the women at home.

Facts and Figures

- IGMSY scheme was launched in 2010.

- Between the years of 2010 – 2013, only 28% of the target population was covered under this scheme.

- IGMSY demands a creation of the Implementation Cells at every state and district level.

- 57 women from four blocks were excluded due to the eligibility criteria.
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