Basic Rights For Pregnant Women in India

Pregnant women in India enjoy (at least in theory) some basic rights which include, but are not limited to:

1.Free and no-expense delivery, including cesarean section if the woman chooses to deliver in a public health institution under the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) scheme launched by the GOI in 2011.

2.Free transport services to and from the government hospitals is available for pregnant women and newborns up to the age of 30 days under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK).

3.Cash assistance is provided to eligible pregnant women, should they choose to deliver in a government health facility under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY).

4.Free vaccinations are provided against tetanus for the pregnant women and against tuberculosis, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis & measles for the newborns under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).

5.Paid maternity leave of at least 26 weeks in both private and government sectors for first 2 children. For the third child, paid maternity leave is of 12 weeks duration. This is applicable to shops, factories, plantations etc either in organized sector or unorganized sector.

6.Women can’t be fired from the job on account of being pregnant under the Maternity Benefit Act. Additionally, employers are prohibited from demoting the worker or deducting her salary on account of pregnancy. If any employer discharge or dismal of women during pregnancy is unlawful,  such employer can punished under section 21 of Maternity Act.

7.Pregnant women can’t be employed in any work of an arduous nature or that which requires a long period of standing under the Maternity Benefit Act.

8.A female employee is also entitled to medical bonus of Rs.3500 by the employer.

9. Every company will required to provide woman at the time of here initial appointment, information about  every benefit available under Maternity Act.

10.The Factories Act stipulates that any establishment employing 50 or more female workers provides creches for the workers’ children aged 6 years or less.

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