GUWAHATI: How many babies can a woman bear in a lifetime? A nurse in Assam has given birth to not one, not three but to a whopping 85 babies — at least on paper.
Faking her own delivery 85 times to embezzle maternity benefits, the nurse, Lily Begum Mazumder, made Rs 42,500 over six months.
Under a scheme called ‘Mamoni’, the State government offers Rs 500 to every woman who delivers safely at a government health centre. The idea is to promote safe childbirth. But Lily Begum, auxiliary nursing and midwifery nurse at a government-run health centre in Hailakandi district, sniffed an opportunity to mint money.
She had recorded around 155 deliveries at the health centre over the past six months. Of these, she had entered her own name as the mother 85 times. Locals claimed that the nurse was in possession of cheques signed by authorities with Rs 500 written on them.
District authorities have suspended Lily Begum, but are tight-lipped about the incident, saying a probe is on. “We are yet to ascertain the exact amount she withdrew fraudulently. Everything will come to light once the probe is over,” Hailakandi deputy commissioner Barun Bhuyan told Express.
Two nurses were recently suspended for handing out cheques in the names of beneficiaries’ husbands, as the women did not have a bank account.