Maharashtra – Ayurveda textbook shocker: How to conceive a boy #WTFnews


HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Maharashtra University’s Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery textbooks are teaching techniques to conceive a male child.
  2. The current BAMS syllabus textbook has been copied from Charaka Samhita which shares recipes to create a male foetus.

Want a baby boy? Collect two north facing branches of a Banyan tree (east facing will also suffice) that has grown in a stable, take precisely two grains of urad dal mustard seeds, grind all the ingredients with curd, and consume the mixture.This recipe is not some self-styled godman’s prescription to fool gullible couples. It’s part of the third-year Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS) textbook that informs students on techniques to conceive a boy.

The text has been copied from Charaka Samhita, the pre-2nd Century CE compilation on Ayurveda, which is included in the current BAMS syllabus. According to the textbook, the process of creating a male foetus is called `pusanvan’, and any woman who desires a boy should be “blessed with the pusanvan ritual” as soon as she gets pregnant.

The textbook lists various techniques to ensure the birth of a boy. One such technique is rather expensive. It says: “Create two miniature statues of a man out of gold, silver, or iron after throwing the statues in a furnace. Pour that molten element in milk, curd or water, and on an auspicious hour of Pushp Nakshatra, consume it.”

The BAMS syllabus in the state is supervised by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) in Nashik, and Dr Dilip Mhaisekar, former dean of the Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College in Nanded, is the vice-chancellor.

Objection to the textbook’s contents were recently raised by Ganesh Borhade, a member of the district supervisory board of the PreConception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, who is also associated with the Lek Ladki Abhiyan supervised by advocate Varsha Deshpande.

“Doctors with BAMS degrees have a thriving practice not just in rural areas, but also in cities such as Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik. Many people shun allopathy in favour of Ayurveda, and if this is what medical students are being taught, God help this society,” Borhade said.

He brought the textbook content to the notice of the PCPNDT Act authorities in the state, but it is unlikely that such content will be removed from the textbooks in the coming academic year.

Dr Asaram Khade, the Maharashtra PCPNDT Act consultant, told Mumbai Mirror that a letter has already been issued to the joint secretary, public health, Government of India regarding the syllabus in violation of the PCPNDT Act, even as Borhade warned that the Centre had less than a month to act. “The academic year starts in July, and such content supports female foeticide+ ,” he said.

Borhade pointed out a part of the content in the textbook, which he said had no scientific backing whatsoever. The portion of the content said, “Cook rice flour with water, and while cooking, the woman should inhale the steam. Then add water to the cooked flour, and soak a ball of cotton in it. The woman should lie on the threshold so that her head touches the ground. Then, with that cotton ball, the liquid should be poured in her nostrils. It should not be spit out, instead it should be swallowed.”

MUHS Vice-Chancellor Dr Mhaisekar said the BAMS curriculum was decided by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and that he had written to the ministry regarding the objectionable content.

“We are awaiting a reply from the ministry,” Mhaisekar told Mumbai Mirror yesterday. “The MUHS doesn’t have the right to add or delete from the syllabus. There are seven members from Maharashtra in the Central Council of Ayurveda and all of them are aware of this content,” he said.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/how-to-conceive-a-boy-and-other-gender-lessons/articleshow/58571447.cms

Sex selection in Indian community persists despite years spent in Canada


Study shows Punjabi mothers who already had 2 daughters, had 240 boys for every 100 girls

By Laura Glowacki, CBC News

Indian-born mothers in Ontario are more than two-times more likely to have boys than girls as their third child if they have already had two daughters, even after spending more than 10 years in Canada, a new study has found.

Indian-born mothers in Ontario are more than two-times more likely to have boys than girls as their third child if they have already had two daughters, even after spending more than 10 years in Canada, a new study has found. (The Associated Press)

Contrary to what researchers expected, the length of time Indian immigrants have lived in Canada has no effect whatsoever on the practice of sex selection in favour of boys.

The lead author of an upcoming study, Marcelo Urquia, said his team’s findings show Indian mothers are more than twice as likely to have a male third child, if a couple has already had two daughters.

“Families prefer to have boys rather than girls,” said Urquia, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. “Or, if they already have daughters, they want to have at least one male in the family.”

While Canadian-born women give birth to about 105 boys for every 100 girls, Urquia and his team from the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital, showed Punjabi-speaking mothers in Ontario, at their third birth, had 240 boys for every 100 girls.

“We expected that with longer exposure to Canada’s environment of greater gender equality, immigrants from India would progressively shift toward valuing daughters and sons more equally,” Urquia said. But it seems that’s not so.

Instead of finding a decrease, they actually found a slight increase in preference for boys.

For Punjabi-speaking Ontario women new to Canada, Urquia found they give birth to 213 boys to every 100 girls if they have already had two daughters, whereas mothers who have been in Canada for 10 years or more, including those raised in Canada, gave birth to 270 boys to every 100 girls.

Among Indian immigrants, the researchers found sex selection most common in the Punjabi-speaking community but it was also seen in women whose mother tongue was Hindi.

No choice for some moms: director

The new findings are based on 46,834 live births to Indian-born mothers who gave birth in Ontario hospitals between 1993 and 2014 and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.

Sex selection with preferences for boys happens across the country, Urquia said.

“But we don’t really understand why this is still happening in Canada.”

The data were especially puzzling to Urquia and his colleagues because other health trends do change after immigrants live in Canada for years. For example, Indian women who abstained from drinking in India tend to begin consuming alcohol after living in Canada, said Urquia. Also, Indian immigrants tend to become more sedentary when they move to Canada and obesity rates, not surprisingly, rise.

“We don’t have a proper explanation,” he said of the preference for boys. “We really don’t know why this is happening.”

Kripa Sekhar, executive director of the South Asian Women’s Centre in Toronto, said findings by Urquia and his colleagues confirmed what her organization has seen and heard from women for years.

Her organization was one of a handful consulted as part of the new research into sex selection.

“I’m not saying this happens across the board but definitely among more traditional, South Asian families there appears to be a desire to have a male child,” Sekhar said.

Some of the potential reasons mothers abort female daughters can be traced to both cultural and economic reasons, she said.

Traditionally, sons take care of elderly parents and their families also receive dowries in marriages, so the birth of a boy is a joyous occasion, Sekhar said, especially for traditional families.

“I think it comes down from traditions of patriarchy,” she said.​ “It’s very sad … Because she’s under pressure to have that male child, she actually in many ways has no choice.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/sex-selection-indian-community-1.4083853

More than 100 Activists condemn PAC recommendation of compulsory sex determination tests


 PAC REPORT

Mumbai – We the undersigned representatives of women’s and health rights organizations strongly condemn the recommendations of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly making pre-natal sex determination and tracking of pregnant women mandatory to prevent  sex selection.

These recommendations are grossly violative of the PcPNDT Act itself, and will impinge upon the MTP Act as well. It is ironical that such a recommendation is being made in Maharashtra, which pioneered the law to curb sex selection after a long campaign by women and health activists that linked the use of sex-selection and sex-detection technologies to gender based discrimination and thereafter to  the declining child sex ratio in India .

It is shocking that the proposal is being mooted at a time when yet another racket of sex selection has recently come to light in Mhaisal, Sangli, which clearly exposes the nexus between unscrupulous medical professionals and corrupt government health officials in allowing illegal sex determination to proliferate in the state.

It is quite clear that such a proposal is intended to absolve doctors and to shift the burden to the shoulders of pregnant women. The 2003 amendments to the 1994 PcPNDT Act recognized the lack of autonomy faced by women and had specifically kept the pregnant woman out of the ambit of the Act. This new proposal will only result in a twenty-four hour surveillance of pregnant women both within the family and by the state authorities. It will unnecessarily target every woman bearing a female foetus, and will link any abortion that such a woman has (for any reason) to sex selection. This will adversely impact women’s already poor access to safe abortion.  It will fuel a proliferation of illegal facilities for getting rid of unwanted female foetuses.

PAC suggestions of  surveillance is violation of our fundamental right to privacy and victimization of the woman when the focus of surveillance should be providers who are the key link to practice of sex determination and sex selection.

We demand that the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly rejects the recommendations of the PAC. We also demand stringent implementation of the present Act, which has clearly acted as a deterrent wherever it has been used effectively.

गर्भलिंग चाचणी सक्तीचे करण्याची अजब शिफारस करणाऱ्या लोकलेखा समितीचा कडक निषेध

लोकलेखा समितीने महाराष्ट्र विधान सभेला सादर केलेल्या आपल्या अहवालात राज्यात लिंग निदान रोखण्यासाठी गर्भलिंग चाचणी सक्तीची करून सर्व गरोदर महिलांवर पाळत ठेवण्याची अजब शिफारस केली आहे, त्याचा आम्ही खाली सही करणाऱ्या महिला व आरोग्य हक्क संघटना तीव्र निषेध करीत आहोत.

मुळात अशी शिफारस लिंग निदान प्रतिबंधक (पी.सी.पी.एन.डी.टी.) कायद्याचे घोर उल्लंघन करणारी असून, गर्भपाताशी संबंधित एम.टी.पी. कायद्यावर देखील त्याचे विपरीत परिणाम होतील. स्त्रियांशी टोकाचा भेदभाव करणारी लिंगनिदानाची पद्धत आणि त्यासाठी वापरण्यात येणाऱ्या तंत्रज्ञानामुळे भारतात ०-६ वर्ष वयोगटातील मुलींचे प्रमाण कसे घटत आहे, ह्या गंभीर मुद्द्याकडे प्रथम महाराष्ट्रातील महिला आणि आरोग्य हक्क कार्यकर्त्यांनी लक्ष वेधले. त्यांनी दीर्घ काळ चालवलेल्या मोहिमेचा परिणाम म्हणून महाराष्ट्रात प्रथम लिंग-निवड प्रतिबंधात्मक कायदा मंजूर झाला, ह्याचा विसर लोकलेख समितीला पडलेला दिसतो.

म्हैसाळ (सांगली) आणि नाशिक शहरात अलीकडेच उजेडास आलेल्या बेकायदेशीर लिंग निदानाच्या प्रकरणातून अप्रामाणिक वैदकीय व्यावसायिक आणि भ्रष्ट सरकारी अधिकारी ह्यांच्यातल्या संगनमताने राज्यात बेकायदेशीर लिंगचाचणीची केंद्र कशीं फोफावली आहेत, हे समोर आलेले असताना, अशी शिफारस करणे अधिक धक्कादायक आहे.

प्रत्यक्षात लिंग निदान करणाऱ्या डॉक्टरांना सुट देऊन, गरोदर स्त्रीवर सर्व जबाबदारी टाकण्याचा हा निषेधार्य प्रकार आहे. १९९४च्या लिंग निवड प्रतिबंधक कायद्यात २००३ मध्ये सुधारणा करताना स्त्रियांना निर्णय स्वातंत्र्य नसल्याची वस्तुस्थिती लक्षात घेऊन, गरोदर स्त्रीला कायद्याच्या कक्षेतून काढले होते. ह्या नव्या प्रस्तावामुळे गरोदर स्त्री वर कुटुंबांतर्गत आणि शासकीय पातळीवरची चोवीस तासांची पाळत सहन करावी लागेल. स्त्री-गर्भ असलेल्या प्रत्येक गरोदर महिलेला विनाकारण लक्ष्य बनवून, तिने कोणत्याही कारणास्तव गर्भपात करून घेतला तरी त्याचा संबंध लिंग निदानाशी जोडला जाईल. स्त्रियांना अगोदरच सुरक्षित गर्भपाताची सेवा मिळणे अवघड झाले असताना, नको असलेले स्त्री गर्भ नष्ट करणारी एक बेकायदेशीर यंत्रणाच ह्यामुळे फोफावणार आहे.

अशा पद्धतीने स्त्रियांवर पाळत ठेवण्याची ही लोकलेखा समितीची शिफारस स्त्रियांच्या खाजगी आयुष्यात हस्तक्षेप करणारी आणि मुलभूत अधिकारांवर घाला घालणारी आहे. उलट बेकायदेशीर  पद्धतीने लिंग निदान आणि लिंग निवड करणारी केंद्र चालवणाऱ्यांवर सरकारने पाळत ठेवून त्यांचे उच्चाटन करण्याची आवश्यकता आहे.

महाराष्ट्र विधान सभेने लोकलेखा समितीच्या ह्या शिफारशीला स्पष्ट नकार द्यावा अशी  मागणी आम्ही करीत आहोत. जिथे पी.सी.पी.एन.डी.टी. कायद्याचा प्रभावी उपयोग केला गेला, तिथे लिंग निदान रोखण्यासाठी मदत झाली असा आजपर्यंतचा अनुभव असून, कायद्याची महाराष्ट्रात कडक अंमलबजावणी करावी अशी मागणी आम्ही करीत आहोत.

Endorsed

Organziations 

Forum Against Sex Selection (FASS)

Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana (AIDWA)

Mahila Sarvgrameen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM)

Forum for Medical Ethics Society

Forum Against Oppression of Women  (FAOW)

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan- Mumbai

National Allaince of Materal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR)

Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group

LABIA –  A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Bombay

Maharashtra Mahila Arogya Hakka Parishad

 National Alliance of People’s Movements– (NAPM)
Point of View, Mumbai

SAMYAK, Pune

CEHAT, Mumbai

Sruti Disability Rights Centee

Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

Individuals

  1. Kamayani Bali Mahabal,  (FASS)
  2. Kiran Moghe , (AIDWA)
  3. Sonya Gill, (AIDWA)
  4. Ravi Duggal, Health activist
  5. Manisha Gupte ,  Women and Health activist
  6. Adv Indira Jaising, Lawyers Collective
  7. Lakshmi Menon . Womens Health Movement
  8. Brinelle D’souza – Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  9. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, Delhi
  10. Dr B Ekbal ,  Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Kerala
  11. Dr. Nizara Hazarika , Associate Professor, Sonapur College,Assam
  12. Gabriele Dietrich, Pennurimai Iyakkam, TN
  13. Sunita Bandewar, FMES and IJME
  14. Amulya Nidhi , .Health Activist Madhya Pradesh
  15. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Public health doctor and researcher
  16. Saswati Ghosh, Associate Professor and hod, Economics, City College (under Calcutta University)
  17. Nisha Biswas
  18. Abha Bhaiya
  19. Nivedita Menon, JNU
  20. Dyuti
  21. Johanna Lokhande
  22. Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development
  23. Ulka Mahajan,  Social activist
  24. Mary E. John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS)
  25. Virginia Saldanha, Indian Christian Women’s Movement,
    Manak Matiyani (Executive Director)- YP Foundation
  26. Vinita Sahasranaman (Director of Programs and Advocacy)- YP Foundation
  27. Souvik Pyne (Advocacy Officer)m YP foundation
  28. Nandita Shah, Akshara
  29. Jyoti Mhapsekar, Stree Mukti Sanghathana
  30. Dr Kamaxi Bhate, FASS
  31. Adv Manisha Tulpule
  32. Rashmi Divekar
  33. Urmila Salunkhe, Akshara
  34. Prasanna Invally, Pune
  35. Kalpana mehta. Manasi Swasthya Sansthan, Indore
  36. Chayanika Shah- LABIA
  37. Anagha Sarpotdar
  38. Chhaya Datar
  39. Bishakha Dutta , Point of View
  40. Meena Seshu, Sangram
  41. Hema Pisal, MASUM
  42. Anand Pawar, SAMYAK
  43. Ravindra R P – Member, Drafting Committees (Mah. PNDT Act, PNDT Act, PCPNDT Act)
  44. Jaya Menon, Women Networking
  45. Sanober Keshwaar
  46. Vijay Hiremath
  47. Shalini Mahajan, LABIA
  48. Rohini Hensman, writer and activist
  49. Lubna Duggal , Forum for Medical Ethics Society
  50. Narendra  Gupta, Prayas
  51. Aapurv Jain, Gender rights activist
  52. Burnad Fatima- SRED
  53.  Sandhya Gautam, NAMHHR
  54. Jashodhara Dasgupta – Sahayog
  55. Sarojini – Sama
  56. Leni Chaudhuri, JSA
  57. Anuradha Pati
  58. Anita Ghai –  Feminsit  and Disbaility Rights Activist
  59. Ritambhara, Nazariya
  60. Preet Manjusha, SAMYAK
  61. Neeraj Malik
  62. Sejal Dand, ANANDI
  63. E.Premadas- CHSJ
  64. Suhas Kolhekar- NAPM
  65. Sitaram Shelar
  66. Sneha Giridhari, SWISSAID, India
  67. Sapana, BGVS
  68. Brinda Bose, JNU
  69. Reena Martins, Mumbai
  70. Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective
  71. Pouru Wadia, SNEHA
  72. Vibhuti Patel, SNDT
  73. Kajal Jain,MASUM,Pune
  74. Mohan Rao, JNU
  75. Suneeta Dhar, activist
  76. Vasavi Kiro
  77. Abhijit Das,CHSJ
  78. Vivekanand Ojha
  79. Jaya Sagade , activist
  80. Ujwala kadrekar
  81. Uma V Chandru, WSS
  82. Archana More ,Karve Institute of Social Work
  83. Pradnya Shende
  84. Shakuntala Bhalerao, JSA
  85. Shubhangi Deshpande
  86. Vrinda Grover
  87. Subhash Mendhapurkar, SUTRA
  88. Manmohan Sharma,  health activist
  89. Noorjehan  Safia Niaz, BMMA
  90. Dolphy D’souza, Convenor, Police Reforms Watch
  91. Adv Vijay Hiremath
  92.  Nita Shirali, activist
  93. Saumya Uma
  94. Sugandhi Francis
  95. Snehal
  96. Kranti
  97. Yasmeen, awwaze- niswan
  98. Aruna Burte
  99. Shobha, Stree Mukti Sanghathana
  100. Mukta Srivastava, NAPM
  101. Milind Ranade
  102. Prof. Ujwala Masdekar, faculty of Karve Institute of social service
  103. Panchali Ray. Jadavpur University. Kolkata.
  104. Sonal Shukla, Vacha
  105. Naureen, SNEHA
  106. Richa Minocha , Simla
  107. Jeevika Shiv, ANANDI
  108. Radhika Desai, Hyderabad
  109. Seema Kulkarni, SOPPECOM
  110. Rimple Mehta
  111. Ayesha Kidwai
  112. Runu Roy

Maharashtra doctor arrested for dumping 19 aborted foetuses in Sangli


MUMBAI

Mumbai news

The female foetuses were found on Sunday dumped near a stream at Mhaisal village in Sangli district.(HT FILE)

Homeopath Dr Babasaheb Khidrapure, believed to be the main accused in the dumping of 19 aborted foetuses in Mhaisal village in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, was arrested early Tuesday from Belgaum in neighbouring Karnataka .

Khidrapure will now be brought to Sangli and produced before a local court.

Police also suspect the role of five more medical practitioners in the case.

The police had stumbled upon the foetuses during the investigation of a case in which a 26-year-old woman died during abortion on February 28 at the private hospital of Khidrapure.

Preliminary police investigation indicated that five medical practitioners used to visit Bharati Hospital, run by Khidrapure and his wife. Police recovered few documents and registers from Bharati Hospital, which have names of those five medical practitioners.

The investigating team suspect involvement of these five in the abortion and dumping of foetus racket. Sangli police said five doctors are likely to be called any moment for recording statements. Two of them are from Karnataka state, sources said.

Police suspect an inter-state racket to be behind the abortion of foetuses. Since investigation revealed that Dr Khidrapure does not have a sonography machine, police think that women might be going somewhere else for sonography tests .

Police also suspect the role of five medical practitioners of Bharati Hospital to be involved in the alleged dumping of female foetuses. (HT file photo)

A register in Bharati Hospital has entries of women from districts like Kolhapur and Solapur in Maharashtra and Belgaum, and Gulbarga in Karnataka. According to Sangli police, Bharati Hospital has a basement, where Dr Khidrapure used to carry out abortions and the basement is equipped with modern medical tools, which are found in operation theatres.

Police have come to the conclusion that Dr Khidrapure used to wrap foetuses in a polythene bag and dump it near a stream after abortion. Police, so far, have recovered 19 foetuses and sent them for DNA tests, which will help trace parents and also throw light whether they were girls, police said.

Sangli SP Dattatreya Shinde said they had identified a few witnesses in the cases and would be called soon for recording statement.

The incident came to the light when Swati Jamdade died due to over bleeding while Dr Khidrapure was operating her for abortion.

Swati was pregnant with a girl the third time and her husband Pravin forced her to abort the baby at Bharati Hospital. Pravin was arrested and booked under section 304 of Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

Police also plan to register offence against his parents who aborted the child after receiving DNA reports. Police suspect that local villagers might be working as ‘agents’ for Dr Khidrapure. “We have received such inputs and will act upon them,” said a police source.http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/maharashtra-cops-suspect-role-of-five-more-medical-practitioners-behind-dumping-of-19-aborted-foetuses/story-1XvpSHXkcFnpHaSmGtoM9I.html

  Illegal sex-determination services leaving urban hubs for remote villages


  • Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |

A woman who was trafficked to Haryana covers her face. In areas with poor sex ratio, trafficking of brides from other states is common. (Subrata Biswas/ HT File Photo)

An ultrasound test costs Rs 200-300 in a government hospital, but the charges at a private clinic could run up to Rs 30,000 and more for parents who want to know the sex of their unborn baby.

And there are many who pay up, making unscrupulous doctors involved in illegal sex determination rich beyond belief. India is missing more than 25 million girls since 1991 — which is like losing the population of Australia in two decades — and unscrupulous doctors choosing money over lives are to blame.

Illegal abortion of unborn baby girls has brought down India’s child sex ratio — ratio of girls per 1,000 boys at age six — to 919 girls per 1,000 boys, down from 983 in 1951. Though the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC-PNDT Act) banned sex determination and pre-conception sex-selection in 1994, the high demand for services from parents desperate for a son has led to sex-determination services reaching villages where there are no toilets or safe drinking water.

 

India recorded its sharpest 18-point fall in child sex ratio between 2001, and 17 points in 1991, when prenatal diagnostic techniques such as ultrasounds and amniocentesis became widely available, marking the beginning of their misuse for sex determination. Apart from pre-conception procedures that help parents choose the gender of the baby, tests are now available that can determine the sex of the foetus in the seventh week of pregnancy. A blood test that analyses foetal DNA found in the would-be mother can determine a baby’s gender before eight weeks into pregnancy. The test, available in India, measures DNA fragments from the placenta circulating in the mother’s blood to detect Down syndrome and two other chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus, but it is also being used to determine the gender of the unborn baby for sex-selective abortions.

Worrying drop

“I’m not so worried about these tests because they are highly specialised and not available everywhere, unlike the around 55,000 registered ultrasound clinics registered in India, which are being misused by unscrupulous profiteers to bring down child sex ratio in almost every district of India,” says Sabu George, who is on India’s national inspection and monitoring committee PC&PNDT.

“I’m just back from Rajasthan, where ultrasound clinics are now found in every block in every district, unlike a decade ago when you just found them around urban hubs,” adds George, who has been tracking India’s falling sex ratio for more than three decades.

Some people blame the lack of a central supervisory mechanism. The PC-PNDT Act is under the ministry of health, schemes for the girl child are under the ministry of women and child development, while birth registration is under the ministry of home affairs. It should be under one nodal agency for effective implementation, recommends the Asian Centre for Human Rights’s report on The State of the PC&PNDT Act: India’s losing battle against female foeticide.

George disagrees: “The PC-PNDT act is very clearly under the ministry of health and family welfare and if states choose to act against those who break the law, foeticide can be stopped.”

Over the past two decades, the implementation of the PC-PNDT has been poor with some states showing spurts of activity. Haryana is on the right track, where the child sex ratio crossed 900 in two decades and even found mention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Haryana’s recent Swarna Jayanti Utsav.

“For the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (scheme), I begged people of Haryana to protect the lives of daughters… Today, in the entire country, if anyone is bringing improvement in the gender ratio at a fast pace, it is Haryana,” said Modi last week.

Rajasthan rising

Not quite. The state that’s out-performed Haryana is Rajasthan, which is among nine states with a sex ratio of less than 900. The state conducted 17 raids over the past four months, with seven raids carried inter-state — three in Gujarat, three in Uttar Pradesh, and one in Haryana. All the cases are under trial, with the respective high courts rejecting bails in four cases.

Rajasthan made it possible by setting up a PC-PNDT Bureau of Investigation, which works under the state appropriate authority empowered by the PC-PNDT Act to implement the law. Set up in September 2012 by an Act, the bureau has jurisdiction over the PC-PNDT Acct, the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

The bureau works closely with the chief medical and health officers’ team. “The police have too many things to do, the idea is to have policemen dedicated to stopping the killing of the unborn girl child,” says Raghubir Singh, project director, PC-PNDT and an additional superintendent of police. The bureau has 120 posts for Rajasthan’s 33 districts, including a police officer in every district to set up decoy operations and conduct raids, NGO representatives and health officials.

 

“Section 178 in code of criminal procedure has a provision for action against continuing offences in different local areas, which makes it possible for us to raid offenders in other states who have patients from Rajasthan,” says Singh.

George says that no other state has taken the law as seriously and pushed convictions through like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Haryana.

“Sporadic convictions will not give results, you have to seal clinics and stop doctors from breaking the law. In Uttar Pradesh, for example, 30 clinics doing illegal ultrasounds were closed in Kushinagar district in March 2013, but that momentum was lost when the district collector was transferred,” he says.

The pressure to not implement the law is immense. “Doctors who make money, parents who don’t want a girl, people who see it as a social and cultural issue, not a crime, all want the law to fail but that cannot be allowed to happen. India needs its daughters as much as it sons,” Singh adds.http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/illegal-sex-determination-services-leaving-urban-hubs-for-remote-villages/story-D4XMWkJ3dxoAIplHxTzBWO.html

Health ministry to soon come out with draft SOPs as part of PCPNDT Rules


Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai

The Union health ministry will soon come out with a set of new draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as a part of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Rules as a step towards making it more compliant and less stringent in the wake of nation-wide protests from radiologists a couple of months back.

The new draft SOPs is likely to be shared with the concerned stakeholders soon to make it more practical and acceptable to the radiologists, according to an official associated with the development.

Meanwhile, the Union health ministry is also planning to amend PCPNDT Rules to keep record-keeping out of the ambit of criminal provisions of the Act following recent representations made by the radiologists.

A committee under the Union health ministry has been constituted to recommend separate provisions for record- keeping and actual sex selection under the Act. The ministry is scheduled to make changes in the rules soon, according to a senior official associated with the development.

Accordingly, the committee is likely to lay down guidelines for a 3-tier categorization of offences based on the severity or seriousness of the violation to make it more practical for serving the desired purpose for which it was framed.

Government’s delay to modify PCPNDT Act led to harassment of radiologists by the authorities for minor administrative lapses and not actual sex selection in violation of the Act. Radiologists explain that the violation of the said Act amounts to equal punishment for sex determination and clerical errors.

Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) had in the past held meetings with the Union health minister J P Nadda and proposed to change the PCPNDT Rules with reference to record keeping to prevent harsh penalties for clerical errors.

Maharashtra State Branch Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (MSBIRIA) had three months ago suspended its services citing wrong implementation of PCPNDT Act by the authorities leading to closure of sonography clinics and prosecution of radiologists as they say that the rules are often misinterpreted.

http://www.pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=98525&sid=1

Sex selection test: Three accused sent to judicial custody


TNN |

JAIPUR: A special court for Pre-Conception, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPNDT) of Sikar on Saturday sent three accused to 15 days of judicial custody for allegedly involved in sex selection activities.

A racket involved in sex selection activities was unearthed by health department’s PCPNDT cell by conducting decoy operation late Friday night.

The kingpin of the racket was a retired Centre’s compounder. Among the two other persons arrested were compounder’s wife and one agent.

It is the sixth such decoy operation conducted by the PCPNDT cell in Skekhawatiregion of the state in the past six months.

National health mission (NHM) mission director (state) Navin Jain said the decoy operation had been conducted on Friday night in a Raj Dental hospital in Mukundgarh. The arrested accused Ramawatar Dudi used illegal portable sonography machine for conducting sex selection test.

He said that in initial investigation it is found that the racket was active in nearby districts too including Sikar and Churu.

He said that the accused collected Rs9 lakh to Rs10 lakh every year by conducting sex selection activities. But it came as a shock for PCPNDT cell officials when they found that his wife Geeta helped him in sex selection activities. Not only his wife but other relatives are now under the scanner of the PCPNDT cell.

 

 

He said that the accused collected Rs9 lakh to Rs10 lakh every year by conducting sex selection activities. But it came as a shock for PCPNDT cell officials when they found that his wife Geeta helped him in sex selection activities. Not only his wife but other relatives are now under the scanner of the PCPNDT cell.

 

Besides, they have arrested one woman Sonu, who was allegedly acting as an agent of the couple in bringing clients for sex selection.

 

The three arrested accused were presented before the special PCPNDT court in Sikar, which sent them to 15-days judicial custody.

 

The PCPNDT cell officials are hopeful that they will get more clues from the arrested accused about sex selection activities being conducted in the Shekhawati region.

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