New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) The Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) has appealed to the Prime Minister to provide budgetary support to the breastfeeding promotion campaign and said maternity benefit allowance must be extended to poor women in the unorganised sector as well.
In a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr Arun Gupta, BPNI's National Coordinator said though last year, in meeting with the Planning Commission, the breastfeeding campaign budget was proposed to be about Rs 943 crores and Rs 900 crore was marked for maternity benefit to poor women, it had somehow not found mention in the Eleventh Plan.
He said maternity benefits to support exclusive breastfeeding could work well only with breastfeeding promotion, otherwise women could still resort to poor feeding practices.
He said the scientific evidence had yet again equivocally stated that non-exclusive breastfeeding during first three months was responsible for large number of infant deaths.
He urged the Prime Minister to see that both budgets of maternity benefit and breastfeeding campaign be retained in the Eleventh Five Year Plan and also requested him to move nuitrition from Integrated Child Development Scheme and bring it under the ambit of the National Rural Health Mission as nuitrition is inextricably connected to health.
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