Pregnant thrice in four months? Unusual cases in UP's Janani Suraksha Yojana raise eyebrows

An audit into the Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme in Uttar Pradesh, aimed to decrease neo-natal and maternal deaths in India, has revealed several discrepancies in the implementation.

The Times of India reports, "A woman, for instance, was declared pregnant three times in four months to avail benefits under the scheme. Another woman who had not conceived in 12 years was paid Rs 1,400 as honorarium by the health department. Yet another woman in Bahraich, a 60-year-old, gots pregnant "five times in 10 months"."

 Pregnant thrice in four months? Unusual cases in UPs Janani Suraksha Yojana raise eyebrows

Representational image. Reuters

The scam came to light when a woman in Badaun named Asha Devi deposited cheques from the Janani Suraksha Yojana thrice in four months, drawing suspicion of bank officials who informed the health department.

The authorities responsible for the implementation of the scheme are now being probed. The report also suggests that authorities dupe village women by giving them only a small cut of the amount they are supposed to receive and pocket the rest of the money.

The Janani Suraksha Yojana was launched in April 2005. Demarcating them according to how the scheme has been implemented, they are categorised into two — Low Performing States and High Performing States. And Uttar Pradesh was termed a low performing state.

However, such a bizarre way of siphoning off of funds is not new in Uttar Pradesh schemes. The NHRM scam came to light during the rule of Mayawati-led BSP government.

An earlier Firstpost article had reported how the government had bought eye charts worth Rs 1,200 for Rs 21,000.

Medical contractors had sold each 'eye chart' for Rs 21,100 to the Mayawati government’s health department under NRHM. The same eye chart, as shown in the CBI investigations, was procured for a mere Rs 1,200. The profit was nearly 20 times the cost of the chart. These contractors, not many in the medicine business earlier, supplied thousands of such charts for Uttar Pradesh’s village population.

Not only this. The CBI had discovered that the UP’s health department had hired thousands of ambulances during NRHM operations. One such bill worth Rs 22.20 crore was footed by Om Raj Enterprise for hiring ambulances helping carrying pregnant women for emergency delivery.

The CBI took a sample of 60 vehicles number plates from the list that Om Raj Enterprise had submitted. All of these vehicles turned out to be either scooters (two-wheelers) or motorcycles or private/commercial vehicles. None of these vehicles was fit to serve as an ambulance.

Before that, in 2010 food grain meant for Centre schemes given to Uttar Pradesh was sold in much higher prices in other countries.

According to this DNA report, "A large stock of food grain meant for distribution under the Antyodaya, Annapurna and Mid-Day Meal schemes was smuggled and sold in Bangladesh, Nepal and other countries in connivance with top officials of the state and the Centre between 2001 and 2007."

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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2015 14:15:07 IST