A towel, a mosquito net, an infant mattress, an infant dress, napkin, oil bottle (100ml), baby shampoo (60 ml), a soap with a box, a nail-cutter, Kilu Kiluppai (rattle toy), a doll, and a hand sanitiser (250ml) — that’s what makes the ‘Amma Baby Care Kit’, the latest in the list of social welfare schemes under the brand name ‘Amma’ launched by the Tamil Nadu government. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa launched the kit for mothers in the state on Monday.
As part of the launch, she gave away kits to five mothers at a function held at the state secretariat, Fort St. George, claimed an official release on Tuesday.
The scheme was launched a year after being announced by Jayalalithaa in the Assembly, in August 2014.
The official release said the kit would also contain a locally made stimulant, Sowbhagya Leghyam, for the mother besides a box to store essentials meant for the newborn.
With 16 items inside it, the cost of the kit has been pegged at Rs 1,000.
In the current year, a sum of Rs 67 crore has been earmarked for the scheme, with a plan to provide it to mothers at the government hospitals.
According to a senior official, it was the hygiene and sanitation related challenges that made ‘Amma’ to think about baby kit.
“Many mothers at our government hospitals are not even able to buy a diaper or baby oil after their delivery. Each and every items in the kit had been decided after consulting experts in the area. We hope that it would improve the situation and other hygiene related issues,” he said.
However, the announcement of the ‘Amma Baby Care Kit’ did not surprise many in the health sector as it was Jayalalithaa who had first introduced the cradle baby scheme in the state in 1992, during her first tenure as a chief minister, with an aim to eradicate female infanticides — a model which was later copied by several other states and public health institutions.
In the last four years, the other popular schemes she has introduced under the Amma brand include Amma canteens, Amma pharmacies, Amma drinking water, Amma salts, Amma seeds and Amma cements.