India has an appalling record when it comes to the health of its mothers and children. Forty-five thousand mothers and 700,000 newborn babies die each year. The main reasons for this are the lack of child care after delivery and the absence of comprehensive maternity benefits which can ensure proper nutrition and rest for the mother. While India has several schemes as well as legislation meant to provide maternity benefits, on the ground more than 90 per cent of working women in this country end up having little or no access to such entitlements. Even more alarmingly in the absence of any data we don't even know who, if anyone, is receiving the budgeted maternity benefits.
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