By Gouri Satya
Sowmya, a villager of Keergalli, gave birth to a baby boy at 4 am in the Cheluamba Hospital in Mysore yesterday. Both, the birth of the child and the new year brought her almost an instantaneous gift - a cash delivery of Rs 700 into her bank account.
With the money in her bank account, the happy mother became the first beneficiary under the centrally-sponsored Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) that was launched across selected 20 districts, including Mysore, in the country.
She was told Rs 700 had been credited to her account at the Cauvery Grameena Bank at 6 pm by none other than District Incharge Minister S A Ramadas, who formally launched the DBT in Mysore.
She received the benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana’ (JSY), a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission being implemented with the objective of reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among the poor pregnant women, a Centrally-sponsored scheme.
Following the launch of the DBT, beneficiaries began to receive deposits in their bank accounts in Mysore, one of the three districts in Karna-taka where the Centre’s scheme was rolled out on January 1.
On the first day alone, Rs 1.18 lakh was transferred to their accounts, heralding the successful launch of the new scheme covering 14 areas, and Sowmya was among them.
“One good outcome of the DBT is the coverage of pregnant women. Earlier, the district health authorities had to do a lot of paper work for sanctioning benefit under JSY, a vital scheme for the care of pregnant women and hence delays were unavoidable. But now, we are able to issue cheques within 24 hours to the banks,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Ajay Nagabhushan.
“Besides, these beneficiaries were issued with crossed cheques with which they had to go to banks to deposit it and wait for its encashment. All that is avoi-ded now, besides taking off the workload on officers,” Nagabhushan told Business Standard, highlighting the positive outcome of the DBT.
“Under JNY, we made 10 del-iverieis yesterday and for 300 children of pourakarmikas (civic workers), tribal children and those belonging to minorities in the district soon after the DBT launch,” the DC said. The dist-rict has 33,685 beneficiaries under 16 schemes, of whom 28,214 have bank accounts. The initial DBT coverage is 19,164. Under JSY, there were 16,069 beneficiaries, of whom 15,022 are linked to Aadhar.
In case of those whose accounts are not Aadhar-linked, funds would be transferred once their accounts are seeded, Nagabhushan, who is also the Mysore Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer, added.