Union Minister of Women < Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani gave away the Pradhan Mantri Matru VandanaYojana (PMMVY) awards to States, Union Territories and Districts for best performance at a function in New Delhitoday.

In the category of best performance since inception of the Scheme to States/ UTs having population of more than 1 crore the first position was awarded to the State of Madhya Pradesh, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Haryana was in the third position.

In the same category,among States/ UTs having population of less than 1 crore Dadra < Nagar Haveli which was first, Sikkim came second and Manipur third.

During her address at the award function, Smriti Zubin Irani,said that 1.28 crore beneficiaries received Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) directly in their bank accountsamounting to Rs. 5280 crore.The success of the implementation of the Scheme by Tamil Nadu, Assam, Tripura and Manipur proved that nothing is impossible if the district administration, States and the Central Government decide to work together for the outreach of any scheme said the Minister. She informed that 2.78 lakh applications were received on a single day during the Matru Vandana Saptah which was held from 2nd to 8th December last year. She further stated that the efficiency in the implementation of the Scheme which was 38% in 2018 has touched the 90% mark in 2019. WCD Minister appealed to all the functionaries under the Scheme to achieve 100 percent target in 2020 and to ensure that no women and childrenare left out of the Scheme.

WCD Minister further informed that thePMMVY is different from the previous Scheme as beneficiaries get the money directlyin their accounts andthey can claim benefits of the Scheme from anywhere in the country as it is linked with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS).Inthe earlier scheme, it would take 18 months to 3 years for the beneficiaries to get the money whereas in the PMMVY it is instantaneous, transparent and based on good governance practices informed the Minister.

SmritiZubinIraniurged the participants to do JanAndolanin the districts to awaken people about the risks faced by young girls who are entering into motherhood. Stating that POSHAN Maah will be observed in March 2020, she also suggested organizing POSHAN panchayats in every village toexplain the importance of nutritious food, ill effects of anemia, importance of sanitation and observing cleanliness and vaccination of mother and child. The Minister also suggested exploring the possibility of POSHAN monitor in every government school and aPOSHAN garden in every Anganwadicentre.

The PMMVY is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country from 01.01.2017. Under PMMVY a cash incentive of Rs. 5000 is provided directly to the bank/ post office account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW<LM) for the first living child of the family subject to fulfilling specific conditions relating to maternal and child health.

PMMVY is implemented using the platform of Anganwadi Services Scheme of Umbrella ICDS under the WCD Ministry in respect of States/ UTs implementing scheme through Women and Child Development Department/ Social Welfare Department and through health system in respect of States/ UTs where scheme is implemented by Health and Family Welfare Department.

PMMVY is implemented through a centrally deployed web based MIS software application and the focal point of implementation is Anganwadi Centre (AWC) and ASHA/ANM.

A booklet on FAQs and a report on MatruVandanaSaptah- 2019 were released by the Minister during the function. Secretary, WCD, RavindraPanwar andMember Health < Nutrition, NITI Aayog,Dr. Vinod Paul also spoke on this occasion.