Saturday May 7 2005
Girls rarest in Ranigunj [Scroll down to read "Govt concerned over female foeticide, decline"]
Hyderabad, May 6: For every 1,000 boys in Ranigunj area of Secunderabad, there are just 838 girls, making it the area with the lowest sex ratio in the state. The average sex ratio in the twin cities is 942 girls per 1,000 boys. Thanks to these alarming statistics, the state government now plans to conduct a full-fledged survey by a team of psychologists and sociologists to find out the reason for the low population of girls, said principal
secretary (medical and health) I. V. Subba Rao.
Significantly, a survey by Hyderabad district authorities found as many as 100 medical scanning centres within a 5 km radius of Ranigunj. Officials believe that unauthorised and illegal amniocentesis and prenatal sex determination tests conducted by some of these centres could be responsible for the poor sex ratio in the area.
Hyderabad district collector Arvind Kumar said a medical scan audit would be introduced in the capital to keep a close watch on these centres. "Trained matrons will closely follow pregnant women visiting these scanning centres till delivery. A campaign will be launched on May 11," he pointed out. All the scanning centres have been directed to submit reports to the district medical and health officer by the fifth of every month.
Wednesday May 4 2005
Govt concerned over female foeticide, decline
DH News Service New Delhi
Faced with criticism due to a spiralling of female foeticide cases the Centre, on Tuesday said in the Lok Sabha that a fresh proposal to enhance the punishment of doctors performing sex selection violating the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulations and Prevention of Misuse) Act (PNDT), was being considered.
At the same time, the government also plans to employ decoy customers to identify the erring doctors, Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss said responding to a Calling Attention motion.
The minister admitted that though as many as 303 cases had been registered with various courts and police till March 31, nobody had been punished so far.
Describing the menace as an unfortunate state of affairs, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that the country needed to wake up and face the problem.
The last census report showed that the sex ratio, calculated as the number of girls per 1000 boys in the 0-6 age group, had declined from 945 girls per 1000 boys in the 1991 census to 927 during the 2001 census with four states—Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, and Gujarat—falling into the category of having fewer than 800 girls per 1000 boys, for the first time.
In Punjab the decline was in 10 of the 17 districts, whereas in Haryana state almost all districts recorded fewer than 850 girls. In Fatehgarh (Punjab) the number of girls declined to 754 per 1000 boys.
Experts were of the opinion that explanations for this phenomenon included the traditional Indian penchant for a male son—who supports the parents in old age and performs their last rites during cremation—whereas females are considered a burden and a liability on whom the parents have to spend huge amounts as dowry for getting married.
A national surveillance has been constituted in the ministry to assist appropriate authorities of the problem states and to pick up the guilty doctors. The PNDT was also amended to give more teeth to the law and to curb sex selection not only at the fetal stage but also at the early-conception level.
Violation of the act is a punishable offence with imprisonment up to five years and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh, besides cancellation of registration and license.
To check misuse of ultrasound technology, the government has started a registration process and so far 26,199 units have been registered.