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Letter Secy MOHFW Release of Madhuri

Letter Secy MOHFW Release of Madhuri

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Published by Aditi Sood

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Published by: Aditi Sood on May 25, 2013
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05/25/2013

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May 22, 2013Sub: Immediate release of Ms Madhuri Krishnaswamy and mandatory establishment of Grievance Redressal and Community Monitoring MechanismsDear Mr Desiraju,We would first like to thank the Honorable Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, yourself and all others at the Department of Health and Family for thevery laudable decision to withdraw the parity and age related restrictions related to JananiSuraksha Yojana from the high performing states. This step will benefit millions of womenfrom the marginalised communities and marks a significant step in fulfilling the
Government’s commitment towards inclusive development
.We would also like to bring to your notice a very unfortunate incident that took place on the16
th
of May 2013 when a senior social worker Ms Madhuri Krishnaswamy, associated withthe Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, was arrested in court in the Badwani District Court inMadhya Pradesh, and is currently under Judicial remand in Khargone district jail.This case is related to the protest over the childbirth of an
 Adivasi
woman Baniya Bai whichtook place in full public view outside the Menimata PHC in Barwani district in 2008, whenshe was thrown out of the PHC during labour following inability to pay Rs 100 demanded bya Compounder. This event had happened after NRHM had started providing incentives for  promoting Institutional Delivery. After the protest and continued demands for action, theCompounder was suspended, but he was re-instated later, and he filed an FIR againstMadhuri, Basant ( husband of Baniya Bai) and others. On 16
th
May 2013 when she went tocourt to attend a hearing related to the case, Madhuri was arrested under Sec 147, 148 332,353 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Madhya Pradesh
Chikitsak Tatha Chikitsa sewa se sambandhit vyaktiyon ki suraksha adhiniyam
2008.There have been many studies which show that JSY has increased the expectations of thecommunity from institutional delivery, however the quality of care has been shown to bedeficient. There are cases of disrespectful and abusive behaviour, and denial of serviceswhich have even been highlighted by the NHSRC report on JSY, the Common ReviewMissions and the department
s own review. However there are no functional grievanceredress mechanisms; and even Community Monitoring which provides a platform for dialogue and expression of community grievances, is limited to a few districts in some states,and faces significant resistance from state health departments. In such a situation, local protest in the face of poor quality, disrespect and abuse often remains the only democraticmeans for the poor and marginalised to express themselves.You will agree that such repressive and arbitrary behaviour by local authorities will provide anegative impetus to the government programmes like the JSY. These actions also provide a
very negative image of India’s efforts at providing essential maternal
health services, whichhave till now been lauded internationally.

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