Bhubaneswar, August 28 (LocalWire): The state government’s move in relaxing the provisions of ‘Mamata’, its flagship cash transfer maternity benefit scheme, for women from Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), is paying dividends with pregnant and lactating women reaping benefits from the relaxed clauses.
13 PVTGs comprising 82,808 people from 541 villages often attract attention for their unique lifestyle, culture and costumes living mostly in inaccessible terrains of hill-locked Malkangiri, Koraput, Sundargarh district.
Government has spent Rs 314.28 crores for the economic development of these impoverished people since the last decade, said officials of state tribal welfare department.
In the health sector, Rs 5,000 Mamata cash benefit has been extended to all pregnant women of PVTG communities for any number of live births.
While pregnant women from other communities are entitled for two live birth benefits, there is no bar in the number of children delivered by PVTG women to avail benefits under the scheme.
Last year the government had allowed this benefit to all pregnant women of PVTG communities irrespective of whether they were residing in micro-project areas or not.
The relaxation in clauses of Mamata scheme has come in handy for these vulnerable sections. Besides, they are being given cash under the scheme instead of direct transfer to bank accounts.
As these people mostly have no access to banks, they are being covered under cash-in-hand facility, officials said.
Thirty-year-old Budai Dhangadamajhi, a Bonda tribal from PVTG and mother of three from Bandhaguda village 15 kms away from Khairput block of Malkangiri district, is a case in point.
She lives in a remote hilltop with poor communication facilities.
Budai and her husband earn their livelihood from Podu cultivation and are daily wage labourers.
She was first enrolled under the scheme in 2011 through a local anganwadi worker.
She got Mamata benefits during first pregnancy but faced problems opening a bank account as the bank was located in Pangam, 52 kms away from her village.
However, the cash-in-hand benefits came as a blessing for her for nutritional support and medical emergencies during and after her pregnancy.
She was the recipient of Mamata benefits on two more pregnancies in 2014 and 2017.
The scheme has reached 38.89 lakh beneficiaries with the government agencies disbursing Rs 1810.76 crores through direct transfer to bank accounts.