The main object of the act is to provide security to the dignity of motherhood by providing full and healthy benefit for the child and the mother. Keeping this object in mind the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 was put in effect on December 12, 1961 after being passed by both the houses and receiving assent of the President. The Act applies to every factory, mine or plantation (including those belonging to government), and to every shop or establishment wherein 10 or more people are employed. There are two types of benefits provided under this Act, namely cash and non-cash benefits. Contravention of this Act incurs a minimum prison sentence of three months, with a maximum of one year. A fine of INR 2,000 – INR 5,000 may also be imposed. However, the Act does not apply to any such factory/other establishment to which the provisions of the Employees’ State Insurance Act are applicable for the time being.