A woman labourer faked pregnancy for several months and turned up at a government hospital in Kailaras in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh on Monday with a baby she said was stillborn.
Vijaywati Moharsinh Kushwan, a resident of Khanpura village, refused to show the stillborn’s face claiming it was against the local custom. The hospital staff soon found out that the baby the woman claimed was stillborn was actually dough shaped to look like a baby.
Dr S R Mishra of Kailaras community health centre told The Indian Express that the woman eyed benefits like an amount of Rs 16,000 under the Mukhymantri Shramik Seva Prasuti Sahayata Yojana. The scheme launched in 2018 is meant for compensating for the wage loss of labourers who register under the scheme and go for institutional delivery.
The 25-year-old had been accompanied by an accredited social health worker (ASHA) when she reached the hospital Monday. The block medical officer has served a notice on the ASHA worker, informing her that she could lose her job for filling the Mother and Child Protection (MCP) Card, which notes down key services delivered to the mother and baby during antenatal, intranatal and post-natal care for ensuring services to the beneficiary, without actually examining the woman.
The BMO has also given a notice to Rajkumari Raja, who is an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), asking her why disciplinary action should not be taken against her for registering the woman without anti-natal check-up that allowed her to fake the pregnancy. The ANM is yet to respond to the notice.
The seniors and staff at the hospital did not lodge a complaint with the police and allowed the woman to go. Dr Mishra said the woman claimed she had been misguided by some people. He said records are being checked again to know the levels at which negligence took place. He said a circular has been issued to all ANMs and ASHA workers to ensure that irregularities like these do not recur.