RTI activist Anand Rai has filed a petition in the high court challenging the norm of allotting only two-month maternity leave to all female government officials.
The petition uses the ground of exclusive breast-feeding advised by doctors to ensure proper growth and development of the child. Being widely propagated by the government to ensure improvement in the maternal mortality rate (MMR), the petition puts forth several questions on the government.
"We have always talked about exclusive breastfeeding for the child to ensure a healthy family. But how will the mother be able to do so, if she has to join work. The maternity leave granted to females is for only two months. The petition demands that maximum two years of leave be awarded so that the period of exclusive breastfeeding for six months can be fulfilled," said Rai.
The petition also takes into account the letter which was written to the chief minister a year back by the Union Minister for Women and Child welfare. "This trend is being followed all over the states. But in Madhya Pradesh we have still not implemented it," added Rai.