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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Man gets one year in jail for selling sex selection kit online


According to the state’s counsel, advocate Amarjeet Chhillar, this is the first case filed under the provisions of PC & PNDT Act in the country.

FAKIHrepresnetational pic
Written by Sandali Tiwari | Gurgaon |

In an expeditiously-tried case against the sale and marketing of online sex selection kits, the Gurgaon district court has convicted a man for selling sex selection kits online.

The court sentenced the accused, Sanjay Khatana, to one-year imprisonment and directed him to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 under the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test Act (PC & PNDT).  Khatana was arrested in September 2014 in Gurgaon for using his website to sell sex selection kits to couples in Haryana and Punjab.

According to the state’s counsel, advocate Amarjeet Chhillar, this is the first case filed under the provisions of PC & PNDT Act in the country.

On September 2, 2014 an FIR was lodged under Section 6A, 3A, 22(1), 22(2), 22(3) and 23 of PC & PNDT Act in City police station, Gurgaon, against the accused.

A team of officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Gurgaon, National Health Mission and Health department was constituted under Gurgaon Chief Medical Officer Pushpa Bishnoi. The team arranged a trap by engaging a decoy customer to order two of the kits worth Rs 12,000. The accused was arrested when he came to deliver the kits.

Drug control officer Amandeep Chauhan said, “Khatana was nabbed on Jharsa Road in an undercover operation conducted by a joint team of the Health department and FDA. Two sex selection kits were seized from him.”

Further investigation revealed that the accused sold these kits from his office based in Delhi and had already sold 70 sex selection kits for Rs 6,000 each.

Khatana used to target couples who wanted a male child. After getting an order, he used to send them the drug kit, ‘BGC Boy Guide’, through courier.

Subsequently, a raid was conducted at the office premises of the accused at Lawrence Road, Delhi. Khatana was convicted on May 16 but the quantum of punishment was decided by the court of Justice Varsha Jain on Tuesday.

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/man-gets-one-year-in-jail-for-selling-sex-selection-kit-online/#sthash.ZtZ4JppG.dpuf

#India – Sex ratio slides as mom’s age goes up


NEW DELHI: Child sex selection seems to go up as the age of the mother does, just released data from Census 2011 shows. The sex ratio among children born to young mothers in the 15-19 age group was the highest after which there was a steady decline till the 45-49 age group. This pattern held true across the country with no exception seen in any state, whether in rural or urban areas.

The latest census data on births that happened in the year preceding the survey, showed that the ratio of the number of girls to 1,000 boys, born to mothers in the 15-19 age group was 938, way higher than the sex ratio of 899 for all children born during the year.

Almost 21 million or about 2.08 crore children were born in the year before the census survey. The data showed that the sex ratio declined as the age of the mothers increased, falling from a sex ratio of 927 and 897 in the 20-24 and the 25-29 age groups respectively to just 856 and 824 in the 40-44 and 45-49 age group.

Since natural causes cannot explain this pattern, it appears that this could be because in the younger age group, where many of the children would be first-borns, there would be greater tolerance for girl children. But with advancing birth order and age of the mother, the pressure to produce a son would increase and hence there were greater chances of families doing away with female babies. Interestingly, even in states with the best sex ratios, this pattern of a steep decline in the ratio with increasing age of the mother held true.

Almost 63% of the children born were to mothers between the ages 20-29, the most productive ages. Children born to mothers beyond 30 years of age accounted for just 30.7%. However, despite children born to mothers in the 20-29 age group having a better sex ratio than children born to older mothers, it affected the overall sex ratio pulling it down significantly.

The sex ratio jumped to 883 in the 50+ age group. But the nearly two lakh children born to mothers aged 50 years and more constituted barely 1% of the total children born. Children born to mothers less than 15 years of age also had a sex ratio of 881, similar to those born to mothers aged 50+. However, only about 59,000 children were born to mothers less than 15 years and accounted for a meagre 0.3%. Both these groups, therefore, did not significantly affect the overall numbers

Maharashtra- Women Activists ask govt not to mix sex selection and abortion


PUNE: Activists have demanded that the state government and social originations working in save girl child campaign should not insist on an amendment to the existing anti-sex selection laws and invoke murder charges against persons involved in sex selection.

The demand is gaining momentum in parts of the state and activists fear worse consequences of the same.

The Indian MTP Act allows abortion by a registered medical practitioner, where the duration of the pregnancy does not exceed 12 weeks or 20 weeks (the latter if not less than two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion that continuance of the pregnancy would risk the pregnant woman‘s life or may cause a grave injury to her physical or mental health; or there is a substantial risk to her health if the child were born).

“This will deprive women of their right to abortion, which is unacceptable. There should be continuous and strict monitoring of sonography centres, hospitals and nursing homes and strict action against all unlicensed centres. But this does not mean that safe abortion should not be allowed” said activists working in western Maharashtra region.

“According to the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, sex selection itself is a crime and the doctors involved should be punished as per the provisions of the act. The pregnant woman on whom sex selection is performed or undertaken is not an offender according to the act. This should be upheld in Maharashtra,” said a protest letter signed by organizations such as stree mukti sanghatana, Forum against sex election, akshara, All India Democratic Women’s Association,  among others.

Activists say that by mooting murder charges against people found involved in sex selection , the state seems to be mixing issues relating to sex-selection (Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act) and abortion ( Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act)

 

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 – 17 including 5 doctors, to be tried for murder in Beed #PCPNDT


 

Syed Rizwanullah, TNN Jun 20, 2013, 

AURANGABAD: Around 16 people, including five doctors, involved in cases of  sex selection  in Maharashtra’s Beed district in 2012 will now be tried for murder instead of culpable homicide.

The accused include five medical practitioners, hospital staffers, the women who gave birth to the female fetuses and their male relatives.

 

 

The Beed court framed the charges in the case on Tuesday. In all, 17 people had been booked.

On June 2, 2012, two female foetuses were found abandoned on the Bindusara river bank on the outskirts of Beed city. Another foetus was recovered from a village in Beed district, where the relatives had allegedly buried it. All the foetues had been aborted at Beed’s Sanap Hospital.

Shivaji Sanap, the medical practitioner who was arrested on June 2, 2012, for illegally aborting the fetues, is still in judicial custody. The others have been granted bail, the government pleader said. The hospital premises is owned by Sanap’s father-in-law Shrihari Lahane, a senior medical practitioner, who is among the 16 people charged.

The medical practitioners involved in the case expressed shock over the court’s move. “It has shocked us but we cannot make any comment on the court’s move as it is a part of the judicial process,” they said.

“We will consult legal experts and our lawyers to explore the possibility of challenging the order. We are waiting for a full text of the court’s move,” the added.

 

 

Maharashtra- Study shows sex selection practices in doctors’ families #WTFnews


, TNN | May 28, 2013, 06.42 AM IST

NAGPUR: A study by a Nagpur-based institute has found the sex ratio skewed in doctors’ families, too. The child sex ratio in these families was 907 girls per 1,000 boys, lower than the national average of 914. It was indicative of a deep-rooted social malady that could pose a critical challenge in correcting the sex ratio in India, the study stated.

The skewed ratio in the doctors’ families was strongly indicative of underlying sex-selection practices even though the ratios offer only circumstantial evidence, rather than proof, the study stated. The study was published recently in the American Journal ‘Demography’ and titled ‘Skewed Sex Ratios in India: Physician Heal Thyself’.

The researchers investigated the sex ratio in 946 nuclear families with 1,624 children where either one or both parents were doctors who had studied at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur between 1980 and 1985. The medical college is a large tertiary care teaching hospital in Vidarbha region, admitting 200 students for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of SurgeryMBBS) .

Other than being more skewed than the national average, the researchers observed that the conditional sex ratios consistently decreased with increasing number of previous female births. Third, the birth of a daughter in the family was associated with a 38 % reduced likelihood of a subsequent female birth.

“Our investigation has revealed startling concerns about the potential sex selection practices among doctors of Vidarbha region. We are aware of the limitations of this study as the sample size is not very big and hence may not faithfully represent the entire physician community in India. But it definitely warrants a closer look. It will also be interesting to see whether such practices pervade others in the medical profession, such as nurses and paramedical workers,” said principal investigator Archana Patel.

Patel also works as a professor and head of the department of paediatrics. She is a director of epidemiology unit at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur. The others who conducted the study with Patel are Neetu Badhoniya, Manju Mamtani and Hemant Kulkarni.

“The study was conducted for three reasons. The medical profession enjoys high esteem in India, and physicians are regarded as role models in society. Second, physicians have a crucial role in the implementation of the Pre Conception and Pre-Natal and Diagnostic Techniques (prevention of sex selection) Act to prevent the misuse of ultrasound and other techniques for prenatal sex determination, which has been implicated for selective abortion of girls. Third, little is known whether this preference for boys also exists among the families of Indian physicians. Hence, we investigated the pattern of sex ratios in the immediate families of physicians,” Patel said.

General surgeon Maya Tulpule, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association said, “I will discuss the matter with IMA managing committee members to see whether we can take up such a survey here in Pune.”

It was an important study which reflected the mindset of the society of which doctors are a part, said senior psychiatrist Devendra Shirole, former national vice president of IMA. “However, a multi-centric study with a larger sample size is needed. We will discuss this at IMA’s national meeting soon,” he added.

Previous studies have also claimed that this son preference varies little with education or income and that selective abortion of girls is common in educated and affluent households, presumably because they can afford ultrasound and abortion services more than uneducated or poorer households.

 

 

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