K.V. Subramanya

First such programme in State held in Chickballapur district

Pregnant women will be given sari, green bangles, flowers and fruits

88 women from Jangamakote and Hemaralahalli participated in the programme

CHICKBALLAPUR: In order to attract more women to government hospitals to ensure safe deliveries, the State Government has started a new scheme wherein pregnant women will be given a sari, green bangles, vermilion, turmeric, flowers and fruits on the lines of the “seemanthana” ceremony.

Indeed, the new scheme started by the State Government under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has been named “Seemanthana.”

According to Hindu tradition, the “seemanthana” ceremony is usually held during the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy and family members present the pregnant woman with a sari, bangles and flowers, wishing her a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Chickballapur district has taken the lead by organising the first-ever “Seemanthana” programme. The Department of Health and Family Welfare recently held the event at Jangamakote village in Sidalghatta taluk of the district.

District Programme Monitoring Officer of the department N. Venkatesh Murthy told The Hindu that 88 pregnant women from Jangamakote and Hemaralahalli villages participated in the programme.

All the women were presented with saris, green bangles, flowers, vermilion and turmeric. Sidlaghatta MLA and former Minister V. Muniyappa donated 88 saris, each worth Rs. 300, and other donors chipped in with flowers, bangles and fruits, besides arranging lunch for the women and their family members, Dr. Murthy said.

The women were told about various facilities the Government provided for nursing mothers under different schemes such as Madilu and Janani Suraksha. Besides, the women were subjected to HIV test so that, in case they had the virus, steps could be taken to prevent it from being passed on to the baby. The programme is aimed not only to attract pregnant women to government hospitals but also prevent them from being exploited by private hospitals.

Ravi Shankar, Deputy Director, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Bangalore, said that the response from the public was encouraging and the programme would be taken to other parts of the State soon. After learning that the Tamil Nadu Government had introduced such a scheme two years ago, the Government decided to launch a similar project in the State.