Sheela Devi is the wife of Raju Paswan, who are daily wagers. She is one of the Swasthya Sahelis of a project Jaagruk Mahila–Swasthya Parivar supported by a CSR partner, which is being implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation in twenty-five villages of district Samastipur, Bihar. Swasthya Sahelis are change-makers on the topic of health in their villages, and are provided monthly training on health and hygiene, including focus on expectant mothers and infants.
In December 2019, Sheela attended a training where the project’s trainer explained two major government schemes for maternal benefit, the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Pradhan Mantri Matriv Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), including their benefit, eligibility, objectives, and the process of availing these. Here, Sheela came to know that she was eligible for INR 5000, since she was pregnant with her first baby.
The next day, together with a community volunteer, she went to the anganwadi center with the necessary documents and registered herself for the PMMVY scheme. Now being a beneficiary of the scheme, she gets timely vaccinations and daily doses of iron folic acid (IFA) tablets. After a safe institutional delivery and getting her baby vaccinated, she received INR 5000 in her bank account. This financial support meant a lot to her.
Now Sheela confidently shares about government schemes with other women of her village, and cites her own experience.
Authors: Mati Murmu and Ellora Mubashir
(Mati Murmu is project coordinator, S M Sehgal Foundation, Samastipur and Ellora Mubashir is communications specialist, Partnerships, S M Sehgal Foundation)