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In a bizarre incident in Bhopal, a woman allegedly with a baby made of dough attempted to grab government scheme money. She claimed that she had had a stillborn and her name should be registered in the list of beneficiaries of the government scheme, the health department officials said. 

However, the baby she carried in her arm wrapped with a piece of cloth was nothing but dough given the shape of a baby, the official added.

An accredited social health activist (ASHA) who had accompanied the woman was served a show-cause notice as to why a disciplinary action be not taken against her, said a medical officer at the community health centre (CHC) at Kailaras block headquarters, Dr SR Mishra.

The incident took place at Kailaras in Morena district, 465 kilometres north of Bhopal on Monday (August 19), but the local media came to know about it on Thursday (August 22) through some health department sources, as per the official.

Dr Mishra said, “I faced such a bizarre case first time in my career and I never expected that people will stoop to such a low to grab the government schemes money.”

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Under Shramik Seva Prasuti Sahayata Yojna, a woman from rural areas is given Rs 1400 as financial assistance for nutritious food and after delivery Rs 16,000 to compensate her loss of wages for about three months when she is supposed to be home. However, assistance under the scheme is given only when there is an institutional delivery.

Dr Mishra said the woman who was accompanied by an ANM and the ASHA reached the CHC in an ambulance 108. She asked the nurse on duty to enter her name in the register as she had had a stillbirth. When the nurse asked the woman to give the baby to her so that it could be examined by the doctor, the woman refused to part with ‘the baby’ and insisted that she had delivered a stillborn.

The woman with her husband created ruckus when the hospital staff forcefully tried to take the baby to ensure timely treatment if it was alive, Dr. Mishra added. 

 “We were shocked to see it was dough mixed with the red colour given a shape of a baby”, said Dr Mishra.

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Head of the CHC Dr Vinod Gupta said, “The woman and her husband ran away on being exposed. They were perhaps misguided by some people they could get money under the government scheme even without an institutional delivery. After deliberations among ourselves, we decided not to lodge an FIR with police as it would have affected our work in serving patients at the hospital.

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