Pune – ‘IVF ad for male child’ illegal under PCPNDT Act


‘IVF ad for male child’
Indira IVF centre in Viman Nagar has claimed the advert was not intentional (PICS: DHANANJAY HELWADE)
Activist serves legal notice to civil surgeon, PMC alleging fertility clinic promises baby ‘Krishna’ for all.

A private fertility clinic has been caught on the wrong side of law after its bid for publicity was alleged to be a promotion to beget a male child. An activist has sent a legal notice to the district civil surgeon of Ahmednagar as well as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), urging them to take action against Indira IVF centre at Viman Nagar for putting gender specific words in an advertisement for their camp in Ahmednagar.

Ganesh Borhade, who sent the notice three to four days ago, informed Mirror, “The advertisement says ‘Nisantaata Bharat Chhodo’ (Childlessness Leave India). It’s a campaign for every house to have Lord Krishna playing in the yard. Here, they could have used a gender neutral word. However, these words point at a male child. This is in contravention of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.” For a case that falls under this Act, one can only approach the appropriate authority — a legal designation under the PCPNDT Act — in this case, the district civil surgeon to take suitable action. The reason Borhade sent a notice to PMC as well was because the IVF centre was under the civic body’s jurisdiction.

The advertisement had appeared in a prominent local daily in Ahmednagar on May 20. Subsequently, Borhade had sent a text message to the contact number provided. In reply, he was asked to visit Hotel Farhat on May 23 (last Saturday), where an appointment had been fixed for him in the morning. He, of course, didn’t pursue the appointment anymore.

Pointing to a general trend followed by clinics offering sex determination services, Borhade said, “They don’t inform you directly whether it’s a girl or a boy. They generally have male and female deities on either side of the wall. If it’s a girl child, they look upon the wall with the female god and pray and, in case of a male child, they pray to the male god. Such sign language is also prohibited by the PCPNDT Act.”

He has alleged that the IVF centre is covertly suggesting that it will help people to conceive a male child. “Why use the word Lord Krishna? Why not any other female goddess or, for that matter, just the word child?

This is leading people to believe that the clinic specialises in male children,” he stressed, adding that the authorities should have acted on their own accord, rather than wait for a legal notice.

When Mirror contacted the Ahmednagar civil surgeon, Dr S M Sonawane, he said, “I will immediately call for a copy of the newspaper and accordingly ask the state appropriate authority to take action. We will also give suitable replies to the legal notice.” On the other hand, PMC’s appropriate authority, Dr Vaishali Jadhav, informed, “We have sought an opinion from experts on this and will take action accordingly.”

However, Indira IVF centre insisted that the advert was a clear case of oversight, stressing that nothing was intentional. “We have strict norms when it comes to the PCPNDT Act. We support the Beti Bachao Andolan. Everywhere in the centre, and even on our letterhead, we have written that we do not practise prenatal sex determination here. We are originally based in Udaipur, so we think in Hindi. We did not think it would mean something like this when we wrote the ad. It was not our intention either,” said Nitiz Murdia, the clinic’s marketing head.

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Pune – No PCPNDT cell for 3 years


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Body finally established in May this year; experts rue authorities’ lax attitude

It turns out that for the last three years, several errant doctors conducting illegal sex determination tests and violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act have quietly been rejoicing here, thanks to Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) mandatory PCPNDT cell lying defunct.

The civic body’s apathy and lax attitude towards starting a PCPNDT cell for all these years — a compulsory process according to government norms, which state that every corporation must have such a cell with a team of 30 — has made sure that no such body existed in Pune.

In fact, not only has PMC’s health department failed to conduct raids on sonography centres in all these years to check whether rules are being violated, it has also failed to initiate bringing a team together to restart a previously established cell, which was out of operation.

Slightly hearteningly, however, PMC finally established the cell on May 21 this year, headed by assistant medical officer Dr Vaishali Jadhav. She told Mirror, “We were unable to conduct raids and visits because the team was not formed and the charge was handed over to me only in May. We need at least 30 people — four should be medical officers and at least two advocates. Though posts have been sanctioned, I am yet to find staff. Necessity is huge, but we lack manpower. However, I managed to file nine cases against sonography centres, a majority of which were linked to advertising their services.”

The dissolute state of affairs had been discovered by Varsha Deshpande, a member of the national inspection monitoring committee of the PCPNDT Act. She told Mirror, “It is not only PMC, but also civic bodies in Kolhapur, Nagpur, Amravati and Aurangabad that have similar issues.”

She added, “In a statewide inspection late last year, it was found that not only Pune, but also a few other cells were lying defunct and needed revival. Both the health chief and commissioner are responsible for the failure — they did not make any effort to put together a team and find miscreants to bring down sex determination and curb rampant malpractices. This has given way to corruption and made it easy for sonography centres and doctors to conduct illegal tests. The urban development secretary is equally responsible — s/ he should be keeping a close eye on all municipal commissioners.”

Manisha Mhaiskar, principal secretary of the state urban development department, countered, “We have instructed all corporations and commissioners to abide by the law, which mentions that every corporation should have its individual PCPNDT cell. If this is not happening, it is a violation of the law and they are answerable for it.”

Dr S T Pardeshi, chief of health at PMC, refuted claims of carelessness entirely, saying, “All our medical officers at the ward level have been vigilant and watchful of all such cases.”

Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar said, “It was brought to my notice only recently that the cell has not been functional for the last few years. Now, we are planning to revive it; strict action will be taken against the doctors found violating norms.” Asked if no clarifications would be sought from the health chief for the lack of such cases being brought to the fore for three long years, Kumar responded, “Yes, we will be doing the needful.”

Save the girl child: PMC nod to fixed deposit scheme


Express news service : Pune, Sat Jul 13 2013,

To check sex selection,  the women and child welfare committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday approved a proposal seeking financial assistance to every girl child born in a poor family under the civic jurisdiction from April this year.As per the proposal, the civic body would make a fixed deposit of Rs 30,000 in the name of the girl child born in a family having income less than Rs 1 lakh. The girl can withdraw the money which will amount to Rs 2.4 lakh after interest, when she is 18 and provided she is unmarried.

The civic body will contribute Rs 20,000 while the parents will have to give Rs 10,000 to avail the scheme. The scheme would be eligible for citizens under the civic jurisdiction and up to two child per family.

“The committee will also contribute Rs 40,000 for a girl child if her parents decide to have only one child. In such cases, the parents need not contribute Rs 10,000 to avail the scheme,” said Varsha Marathe, chairperson of women and child welfare committee.

As many as 50,000 births take place every year in PMC. There are 938 female births for every 1,000 male births. This means 24,200 female births a year take place in the city.

If the civic body decides to include all of them in the scheme then the civic body would need a whopping Rs 48.27 crore. The scheme has a provision of merely Rs 5 crore and can be availed by beneficiaries who fulfill the criteria.

Civic body proposes to double scholarship of sportsmen

The PMC administration has proposed to double the scholarship given to sportsmen representing at district, state, national and international level. After the sports policy was approved last year, the civic body had made provision of Rs 25,000 for sportsmen from city representing at national and international level and Rs 15,000 for sportsmen representing the district.

PMC mounts vigil to keep monsoon diseases at bay

With the city having buckled under a volley of diseases during the last monsoon, particularly dengue, the civic authorities this year are mounting vigilance in advance to keep monsoon-related diseases at bay. Though swine flu claimed several lives, dengue and malaria attacked people with twin viral.

According to Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) monthly communicable disease report, 148 dengue cases, including five deaths, have been reported since January this year. Around 15 cases were reported in May and 36 in June, the report said.

As many as 66 cases of malaria and 184 cases of swine flu have been reported since January. While majority of swine flu cases were reported in February (44), March (64) and April (45), there were only two case in June. Around 98 snake bite cases have been registered since January, with 19 in June.

As per the PMC records, cases of viral hepatitis are on the rise, with a total of 682 cases reported since January. June alone reported 89 such cases.

In Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), officials said there were 47 cases of malaria since January.

The sentinnel surveillance centre set up by the PCMC to test dengue cases registered only two cases

 

Maharashtra – Govt, private hospitals told to display sex ratio at birth #Goodnews


, TNN | Jun 3, 2013,

PUNE: All government and private hospitals are now required to keep a display board of the sex ratio at birth, based on the number of deliveries of boys and girls taking place on their premises.The state government, in a letter issued on May 31, has directed civil surgeons and the civic health department to ensure that all hospitals falling in their respective jurisdictions follow the latest diktat in letter and spirit.

“A decision was taken in the state advisory board’s meeting held in Mumbai on May 3. The letter directing civil surgeons and civic medical officer of health (MoH) to ensure implementation in their jurisdictions was issued on May 31. All hospitals, government and private, will now have to display such a board,” a state health official said.

in which civil surgeons and civic health officials have been categorically asked to ensure that all hospitals in their administrative powers follow the latest rule in letter and spirit.

“Hospitals should be informed that they will have to calculate sex ratio at birth based on the deliveries taking place in their clinical establishment and display the same on the board,” the letter reads.

TOI has a copy of the letter that instructs all hospitals to follow the rule. “The officials entrusted to ensure the implementation need to furnish information about how many hospitals have put such a board along with photos of such display boards installed at the hospitals to the State Family Welfare Bureau periodically,” the letter states.

Child sex ratio is calculated as the number of girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 years’ age group. As per global trends, the normal child sex ratio should be above 950. When the ratio is calculated at birth – the number of girls born per 1,000 boys – it is called sex ratio at birth. The sex ratio at birth is a better indicator of pre-natal sex selection. The ideal sex ratio at birth is 951 girls per 1,000 boys.

“We will ensure that all hospitals follow the latest government directive. Our team of officials overseeing the effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act within the municipal limits of Pune city will implement the rule,” S T Pardeshi, medical officer of health (MoH), Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said.

“There are three indicators for measuring the sex ratio – overall sex ratio, child sex ratio and sex ratio at birth. Sex ratio at birth is a sensitive indicator, independent of sex specific mortality and migration. The objective of the latest diktat is to assess the scenario of sex ratio at birth at different hospitals,” said another top state health official from State Health Systems Resource Centre (SHSRC), a technical and research wing of department of health and family welfare. The move will help find hospitals constantly showing low birth ratio of girls born per 1,000 boys and facilitate corrective measures.

Other directives under the PCPDNT Act for hospitals and doctors.

* Use of pre-natal (before delivery) diagnostic techniques are allowed only on medical grounds for detecting abnormalities and anomalies and not for sex determination Section 6 a,b,c

* No person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives the sex of the foetus by words, signs or in any other manner Section 5

* All clinics conducting ultrasound must be registered and certificate displayed.-No of machines, qualification of person conducting sonography and period of registration Section 19(4)

* All clinics should display prominently ‘disclosure of sex of the foetus is prohibited under the law’ in English as well as in local language Rule 17 (1)

* All clinics should have available copy of Act Rule 17 (2)

* Doctors or clinics advertising sex determination test in any form are liable for punishment Section 22

* Every offence under this Act is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable Section 27

* Implementing authority under the Act is Appropriate Authority Section 17

* Under the Act, appropriate authority has power to search, seize and seal clinics Section 30

* Act has made it mandatory to maintain records of every scan done Section 29 and Rule 9 Section 5 and Rule 10 (1A)

pcpn

 

Man detained after live-in partner alleges rape


HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 09, 2013

A 25-year-old pregnant woman on Wednesday lodged a case against her live-in partner, accusing him of raping her and then forcing her to undergo an abortion.

 

The matter was reported at the west Delhi’s Madipur police station with the police identifying the accused as one Rajesh, who works in a private company.

According to a police officer, Rajesh has been detained and was being questioned in connection with the allegations leveled against him by the woman, who is seven months pregnant. The couple was in a live-in relationship for the past three years, he said.

 

Investigation into the case revealed that the woman met Rajesh three years ago and became friends.

They started liking each other and fell in love after which they decided to live together at Rajesh’s house.

“The woman has alleged that Rajesh established physical relationship with her by promising to marry her. Seven months ago, the woman became pregnant and she began pressuring Rajesh for marriage. But Rajesh tried to put off the issue by giving her false assurances,” said the police officer.

A few weeks ago, the officer said, Rajesh asked her to abort the child after the couple had an argument. The arguments continued for several days but on Tuesday, when the victim sensed that Rajesh won’t marry her, she made a call to the police.

 

BMC to beef up vigilance in wards with dismal sex ratio


By, TNN | Feb 19, 2013,  IST

MUMBAI: Fifteen of the BMC‘s 24 wards across the city improved their sex ratio at birth in 2012 from 2011.

The B Ward of Bhendi Bazaar and Masjid Bunder recorded the highest sex ratio at birth of 996 girl children born per 1,000 boys.

Areas such as Malabar Hill came a close second; it recorded 979 deliveries of girl children per 1,000 boys in 2012, up from 915 girls in 2011. Borivli, too, registered 979 girl births in 2012, up from 914 in 2011.

These figures are based on the data compiled by the BMC, which issues birth certificates in the city.

Demographics and gender studies experts have attributed the improvement in the sex ratio to awareness drives as well as stringent regulation of maternity and sonography clinics, and sustained crackdown on illegal sex determination.

The largest dip in sex ratio, on the other hand, has been recorded in the C Ward of Bhuleshwar, Pydhonie and Sandhurst Road. The number has dropped from 981 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 to a shockingly low 860 girls in 2012. The other areas that have witnessed a drastic dip include Kandivli. It recorded 882 births of girls per 1,000 boys in 2012 against 907 in 2011. Dahisar, too, registered a lower figure of 891 girls against 893 in 2011.

Dr Arokya Swamy, demographer at the Indian Institute of Population Studies (IIPS), said theBMC should now focus on localities that have shown a dip and strengthen their vigilance to curb female foeticide.

The BMC, on its part, has already lined up a programme for specific areas where the sex ratio is low or has fallen drastically. The civic body has asked its primary health staff to increase surveillance and immediately report any illegal activity in their areas. “We will also dissect the data so that the reason for the dip can be understood. Effective steps will be taken to improve the situation,” said a senior health officer.

Experts added the drop in certain areas could be attributed to the fact that young couples these days opt for a single child and may choose a male over a female child.

They further said that this data does not pinpoint to any trend, though, as there are cases where a mother may have delivered a female child in some ward and acquired her birth certificate from another.

“There is also a chance that the expectant mother has gone to her mother’s residence for delivery and got a birth certificate from the ward where she lives. Such cases may be few, but cannot be neglected,” said Dr Swamy.

 

Pune police told to probe sex selection cases carefully


TNN | Jun 7, 2012, 05.49AM IST

PUNE: The Pune police on Monday issued instructions to all 32 stations in the city to conduct investigations in sex selection  if any complaints are received.

Speaking to TOI, additional commissioner of police (crime) Anant Shinde on Tuesday said commissioner Meeran Chadha Borwankar has issued instructions that instant action should be taken and evidence should be collected properly if any complaints are received in such cases.

When asked about the number of such cases reported, Shinde said the police have cases of unwed mothers abandoning their children after birth reported in the city.

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