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Lockdown 3.0: NHRC notices to Maharashtra, MP governments after woman gives birth on road

The woman and her husband had reportedly started their journey from Maharashtra's Nashik and were walking towards their home in Satna in Madhya Pradesh, when she gave birth to the child on road.

Published: 14th May 2020 09:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2020 09:19 PM   |  A+A-

places during the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in Palghar district of Maharashtra Thursday May 14 2020. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The NHRC has sent notices to the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments over reports that a pregnant woman, who was walking on foot from Nashik to Satna, gave birth to her child on road, officials said on Thursday.

The rights panel has termed the incident an "indignity to motherhood".

According to reports, the woman and her husband had reportedly started their journey from Maharashtra's Nashik and were walking towards their home in Satna in Madhya Pradesh, when she gave birth to the child on road.

The couple rested for two hours after the delivery of the baby and then continued walking for the remaining 150 km, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a statement, quoting the reports.

The commission has observed that the incident amounts to sheer negligence of the state authorities, resulting in violation of human rights of the victim woman.

The rights to life and dignity of the poor woman have been grossly violated, it said in the statement.

Accordingly, the panel has issued notices to the chief secretaries of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, calling for a detailed report within four weeks, including the health status of the woman and the child, and also if any relief and rehabilitation has been provided by the state authorities to the aggrieved family, it said.

The NCW on Thursday said it may issue a notice to all states' welfare departments, especially in unorganized sectors, for checking the status of rules and legislations laid out for ensuring the security of women migrant workers.

At a regional consultation on "law review related to inter-state women migrant workers", it was highlighted that there is a need for upskilling of women migrant workers in order for them to prosper during challenging times like coronavirus pandemic situation.

The NCW said it may look into issuing notices to all states' welfare departments, especially in unorganized sectors, for checking status of rules and legislations laid out for ensuring security of women migrant workers, and there should be a provision of stringent penalty for violation of their social security.

"The implementation of POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace) Act and Domestic Violence needs to be bought in the law for avoiding violence against women migrant workers at workplace," the NCW said in a statement.

It was further deliberated in the consultation that women should be counted as individual earners and not along with their male/spouse counterparts.

"In view of this, the proposed census 2021 needs to be leverage to get segregated statistics/data of women workers. Migrant women working as domestic workers need to be included as workforce and employability sector," the NCW said.

The NCW said sources and destinations of women migrant workers is a specific focus that inter-states coordinators/department must attend to, for measuring accountability, and must also involve stakeholders, including grassroots organization, volunteers and at the panchayat level, to create a state-friendly model to ensure implementation of laws and redressal mechanism during disaster management and challenging times.

The consultation comes in the backdrop of a huge migration of workers back to their homes due to loss of employment during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's recent announcement on initiatives focused on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, self-employed people and small farmers were some of the similar concerns and areas of intervention that were touched upon during the consultation.

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