Maternity allowance turns boon for extreme poor women


DHAKA, May 29, 2018 (BSS) – The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs is
providing financial assistance, foods and training package to distressed and
destitute women across the country during their maternity period.

A total of 2,00,000 poor working mothers were entitled to allowance and
training under ‘Working Lactating Mother Assistance Fund Programme’ across
the country for creating awareness about mother and child healthcare for poor
working mothers living in urban areas.

The programme is being implemented in all the city corporations, district
and upazila headquarters and municipalities.

Under the programme, each working mother will get Taka 500 per month.
Apart from this, they will also be imparted training on maternal health,
child health, breast-feeding, sanitation, reproductive health, vaccination,
family planning and prevention of child marriage.

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki said a
healthy mother could give birth to a healthy child, adding, “There is no
alternative to give birth to a healthy child. A normal child can build a
healthy and rich nation. To ensure healthy and normal birth, Women and
Children Affairs ministry is working sincerely.”

Currently, maternal allowance is being given to eight lakh extreme poor
women and every mother receives Taka 500 as maternal allowance, she said,
adding amount of the allowance will be increased to Taka 800 per month in the
next financial year.

Presently, a poor mother is getting maternity allowance for two years. But
child ageing from 0 to 5 years needs 90 percent nutrition for physical and
mental development, Chumki aadded, saying ” So it is very important to have
nutritious food for mother and child during the period.”

Keeping this in view, the ministry has taken a plan to extend assistance
during the matrimonial period from two years to three years, she said.

“The present government extended the VGD (Vulnerable Group Development),
maternity allowance for poor mother, working lactating mother assistance fund
programme to bring extreme poor under a sustainable development,” State
Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki told BSS here

The government has provided foods and training to 7,50,000 extreme poor
women from 2009-2010 to 2015-2016, while the number of beneficiaries rose to
10,00000 during 2017-2018 under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD)
programme across the country.

Under the programme, the government provided 30-kg of package food (rice)
along with training service (training, savings and loan) to extreme poor

Besides, the Women and Children Affairs Ministry launched working
lactating mother assistance fund programme, which brought 2,00,000 women and
provided Taka 500 each for six months.

Each beneficiary would also deposit Taka 200 per month as savings on
their bank account, while the government is providing two-year training on
nine-module to make them self self-reliant.

The government is also providing maternity allowance programme for poor
mother. A total of 6,00,000 poor mother across the country are getting
maternity allowance and each of mother get Taka 500 per month.

In July 2017-March 2018, the government distributed Taka 180 crore under
the schme.