Karnataka Mathru Purna Scheme
The state government of Karnataka has announced that one welfare scheme named the “Mathru Purna” across the state via the Anganwadi centres. In most of the rural areas, women who are poor are mostly affected to malnutrition which directly affects the health of the child. To have a permanent solution to this problem, the Karnataka Government has introduced this scheme.
The scheme was announced by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of the state, Shri Siddaramaiah during the Independence Day celebrations in the year 2016. That time the scheme was named as the “Mathru Pushtivardhini”. This project was implemented in the taluk level. However, recently in a cabinet meeting, it was decided that the scheme will be widespread up to the lower most level, i.e. the Anganwadi level so that the scheme benefit will reach every needy women in all 30 districts of the state. The implementation date was already been set on 2 Oct 17 by the Dept. of Women and Child welfare, Govt. of Karnataka, which is the governing and implementation authority of the scheme in the state.
The motto behind the “Mathru Purna” scheme is to provide nutritious meal for at least once a day to the poor women who are lactating mothers or are pregnant. These are the two phases where the women need special care and nutritional needs. Without proper diet, there are chances of several diseases that may cripple the normal growth of the child. According to the desired food preference of the beneficiaries, the free meals will be selected and distributed through the local Anganwadi centers. The scheme will also aim to bring down the infant mortality rate in the state by checking on the problems of child mal nutrition.
Key features –
- The diet which would be provided under the scheme will have food items covering all nutritional values like rice, green vegetables, sambar / dal, egg, pulses, etc. Those beneficiaries, who are vegetarian, will have at least two types of sprouts in their daily meal.
- Each meal will be planned according the nutritional index and the need of the beneficiary. In case the beneficiary needs special care the diet may be altered at any point of time through the local Anganwadis.
- The scheme will be applicable for a total of 15 months which will include both pre delivery as well as post delivery phases. The scheme will cover the entire pregnancy period of maximum nine months and the lactation phase of up to six months.
- The Anganwadis where the meals will be cooked and distributed will be installed with well equipped kitchens with cooking gas connection, necessary utensils, cooks, helpers, etc.
- Nearly 40 % of the nutritional need of each beneficiary would be covered under this scheme. This will include the calcium and protein requirements which are needed during the pregnancy and lactation phases.
- As the main scheme implementation work will be performed by the Anganwadi workers across the state, the Govt. will also provide them with some honorarium. An average Anganwadi worker gets monthly salary of Rs. 3,500 – 5,000. Additional salary benefit of Rs. 500 will be provided to the workers for the scheme implementation. The assistants will get Rs. 250 incentive for assisting in the scheme.
- To get the benefits of the scheme, one should either be a pregnant woman. Or she must be a lactating mother. With these two conditions, they will be given at least one time meal under this scheme.
- The financial condition of the beneficiaries will be examined and only those who are living below the poverty line (BPL) and are economically weak may join the scheme.
- Also, this welfare scheme is totally sponsored by the State government of Karnataka and is meant only for those women who are permanent residents of the state. Additionally, they must be from rural areas, to become part of the project.
Budget of the scheme –
During the existing scheme – “Mathru Pushtivardhini”, the budget allocated for the financial year 2016 – 2017 was Rs. 42 crore, which will be utilized in this scheme. Apart from that, for the present financial year, budget allocation of Rs. 302 crore has been done. The cost of every meal provided under this scheme is calculated to be Rs. 21, on an average.
The Karnataka state has a low health index of women and children, compared to the other states in Southern India. Also it is the high time to check the infant mortality rate which is another major problem. A total of 25,319 beneficiaries have been identified who will get benefits of this welfare scheme. Out of this, 12,403 are pregnant women. The scheme will be implemented through the help of nearly 13.3 Anganwadi centres across the state.