A woman labourer faked her pregnancy for several months and then 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. However, the hospital staff soon found out that the woman was carrying dough, shaped to look like a stillborn baby.
Dr S R Mishra of Kailaras community health centre told The Indian Express that the woman eyed benefits like the Rs 16,000 benefit under the Mukhymantri Shramik Seva Prasuti Sahayata Yojana. The scheme launched in 2018 is meant for compensating 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 on Monday. The block medical officer has served a notice to 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 postnatal care for ensuring minimum package of 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 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 was 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 don’t recur.