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In the diverse tapestry of India, where traditions, cultures, and languages intertwine, there exists a common thread – the celebration of motherhood. Recognizing the pivotal role that mothers play in the nation’s well-being, the Government of India introduced the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). This groundbreaking scheme not only empowers mothers but also strives to ensure their safe journey through the precious phase of childbirth. In this narrative, we’ll dive into the heart of JSY, unraveling its significance, objectives, and the transformative impact it has on the lives of countless mothers and infants.
What is Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY)?
Janani Suraksha Yojana, which translates to “Mother Protection Scheme,” is a pioneering initiative launched by the Indian government as a part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The scheme, launched on 12 April 2005 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, is under implementation in all states and Union Territories (UTs), with a special focus on Low Performing States (LPS). It’s essentially a lifeline for expectant mothers, particularly those from marginalized sections of society, offering them access to quality maternal healthcare services.
It has the objective of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women. JSY is a centrally sponsored scheme, which integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care. The Yojana has Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) as an effective link between the government and pregnant women.
The Key Objectives of JSY
- Promote Institutional Deliveries: JSY encourages expectant mothers to deliver their babies in healthcare institutions. By doing so, it ensures skilled medical care during childbirth, significantly reducing the risk of complications.
- Reduce Maternal Mortality: One of the central goals of JSY is to decrease maternal mortality rates in India. By offering financial assistance to women delivering in healthcare facilities, it provides them with a safer environment for childbirth.
- Lower Infant Mortality: The scheme also addresses the well-being of newborns by providing post-natal care and vaccinations. This holistic approach contributes to reducing neonatal mortality rates.
How Does Janani Suraksha Yojana Work?
JSY operates on a simple yet powerful principle – incentivizing institutional deliveries. Here’s how it works:
- Cash Incentives: Pregnant women from low-income families who choose to deliver their babies in government health institutions or accredited private health facilities are eligible for cash incentives. These incentives cover a significant portion of the expenses related to childbirth.
- Conditional Cash Transfer: To avail of the benefits, women must adhere to certain conditions, such as attending antenatal check-ups, taking essential vaccinations, and delivering at a healthcare institution.
- Transportation Assistance: In many rural areas where healthcare facilities are distant, JSY also provides financial support for transportation to the hospital, ensuring timely access to medical care.
The eligibility for cash assistance under the JSY is as shown below:
|LPS||All pregnant women delivering in government health centres, such as Sub Centers (SCs)/Primary Health Centers (PHCs)/Community Health Centers (CHCs)/First Referral Units (FRUs)/general wards of district or state hospitals|
|HPS||All BPL/Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) women delivering in a government health centre, such as SC/PHC/CHC/FRU/general wards of district or state hospital|
|LPS & HPS||BPL/SC/ST women in accredited private institutions|
Cash Assistance for Institutional Delivery (in Rs)
The cash entitlement for different categories of mothers is as follows:
|Category||Rural area||Total||Urban area||Total|
|Mother’s package||ASHA’s package*||Mother’s package||ASHA’s package**||(Amount in Rs.)|
*ASHA package of Rs. 600 in rural areas include Rs. 300 for ANC component and Rs. 300 for facilitating institutional delivery.
**ASHA package of Rs. 400 in urban areas include Rs. 200 for ANC component and Rs. 200 for facilitating institutional delivery.
Impact and Transformative Outcomes
Since its inception, JSY has left an indelible mark on India’s maternal and child healthcare landscape. Here are some of the remarkable outcomes:
- Increased Institutional Deliveries: JSY has significantly increased the number of institutional deliveries in India. Mothers are now more inclined to give birth in hospitals, ensuring safer childbirth practices.
- Reduced Maternal Mortality: By promoting institutional deliveries and facilitating access to healthcare facilities, the scheme has contributed to a decline in maternal mortality rates.
- Lowered Neonatal Mortality: The emphasis on post-natal care and vaccination has led to improved neonatal health, reducing infant mortality rates.
- Empowerment of Women: JSY empowers women by providing them with financial support and encouraging them to take charge of their health during pregnancy.
Janani Suraksha Yojana is more than just a government scheme; it’s a testament to India’s commitment to the well-being of its mothers and newborns. By incentivizing institutional deliveries and focusing on maternal and child health, JSY has emerged as a lifeline for countless families across the nation. As the program continues to evolve and reach even the remotest corners of India, it reinforces the idea that every mother deserves a safe and healthy journey into motherhood, regardless of her socio-economic background. JSY is not just a scheme; it’s a promise of a brighter, healthier future for generations to come.