March 9, 2017
Trinamool demands maternity benefits be extended to unorganised sector too
During a discussion on the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha, Trinamool MPs Ratna De Nag and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar suggested to the Union Labour Minister to extend the maternity benefits to the unorganised sector also.
Ratna De Nag said: “Women in unorganized sector, including government front-end workers – like Asha workers, who provided maternal healthcare linkage to all women, mid-day meal workers, Anganwadi worker and helpers, women working under MGNREGA – do not get any wage compensation during pregnancy and childhood.”
They also stressed upon the importance of nutrition for mothers and infants. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar highlighted the ‘Mother and Child Hubs’ in Bengal that provide care to pregnant women in the last trimester. She also demanded that surrogate mothers and single mothers also be given maternity benefits.
Citing the example of Bengal, where paternity leave of 30 days is given, both the MPs asked the Centre to start paternity leaves for menfolk. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar also called for setting up a Supervisory Body with Labour Ministry, Women and Child Development Ministry and the Health Ministry. Ratna De Nag asked for a monitoring system and grievance redressal mechanism for non-implementation of the Act.