All that you need to know about the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana

Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) is a conditional maternity benefit scheme.

It is being implemented using the platform of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.

This scheme is for the pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for first two live births to contribute to a better enabling environment by providing conditional cash transfer for improved health and nutrition and to also promote health and nutrition seeking behaviour in them.

It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.

It provides cash maternity benefit to the women. The pregnant women of 19 years of age and above is entitled to a cash incentive of Rs. 4000 in three installments for first two live births.

Eligibility criteria?

  1. Pregnant Women & Lactating women of 19 years of age and above for their first 2 live births.
  2. Women hve to register pregnancy at the Anganwadi centre (AWC) within four months of conception
  3. Women have to register the birth
  4. All Government/PSUs (Central & State) employees are excluded from the scheme as they are entitled for paid maternity leave

IGMSY was launched in 2010. What are some of the issues that plague its implementation?

  • Leveraging the Integrated Child Development Scheme’s (ICDS) platform, in 2010, the IGMSY programme was piloted in 53 districts across the country
  • In September 2013, the IGMSY cash incentive was increased from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 6,000 to comply with the minimum maternity entitlement provision of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

The causes for poor implementation are invariably the same:

  1. It was found that most beneficiaries were unaware or misinformed about the scheme.
  2. Under the IGMSY, cash is only deposited into an account. Opening and accessing accounts is often expensive and time consuming because banks and post offices are often far from villages.
  3. IGMSY guidelines specify that the accounts should have to be zero-balance no-frill accounts. Here again, the misinformation proved to be the menace
    • Since women were unaware, they were asked to cough up and maintain a minimum deposit which went against the incentive of opting for the scheme
  4. In few of the study states – there was a delay in payment by up to 1 year. Such delays undermine the objective of the scheme — to provide partial wage compensation during pregnancy to enable adequate rest.

What’s required to get things in order?

You will invariably find that the solution to the mal-implementation of any govt. scheme lies in these 4 pillars. Might as well memorise them for a generic answer template:

  1. Awareness building,
  2. Establishment of implementation cells,
  3. A responsive grievance redress mechanism and
  4. A publicly accessible management information system
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