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Indian activists demand implementation of maternity entitlement

Jesuit social wing organized rallies calling for improved rights for impoverished mothers

November 24, 2016

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Testimonies from struggling women featured at rallies in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata that demanded the immediate implementation of maternity entitlements as promised by the government.

Young mother Sombari Mandi spoke at one of the events that were attended by thousands of people at two locations on Nov. 22 that called for the entitlements as promised in the National Food Security Act 2013.

In her testimony, Mandi said she lost her newborn child in September due to malnourishment. Mandi said that if she had enough rest and proper food, her child would not have died.

Mandi was one of many who gave a testimony at the events, which was largely organized by the Udayani Social Action Forum, the Jesuit social service organization based in the city.

The rallies also called upon the government to implement a range of initiatives that would help improve the lives of poor rural women, especially expecting mothers.

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