TODAY -

Govt determined to check female foeticide
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 07 2013: The Government of Manipur has taken up several measures to check female foeticide in the State.

Talking to The Sangai Express in his office room, Family Welfare Department, State Nodal Officer (Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique) Dr Th Arun Kumar said that the practice of female foeticide after identifying sex of the unborn baby with the help of Ultrasound machine is punishable under law.

The offenders can be either sentenced to jail or fined or both under the Pre Natal Diagnostic Technique Act 1994 .

Taking serious note of the skewed sex ratio of the country, the Government of India enacted the Act to check female foeticide which is practised widely in some States of the country.

According to the 2001 census report, child sex ratio of India in the age group of 0-6 years was 1000:927.But this figure changed to 1000:914 in 2011 .

District-wise child sex ratio for the State of Manipur in the same age group as per 2011 census report was 1000:943 in Imphal West district, 1000: 932 in Imphal East district, 1000:948 in Thoubal district, 1000:941 in Tamenglong district, 1000:945 in Churachandpur district, 1000:921 in Ukhrul district, 1000:912 in Senapati district, 1000:919 in Chandel district and 1000:919 in Bishnupur district.

In view of the ever decreasing sex ratio, Family Welfare Department has launched an intensive drive starting from this year under the Pre Natal Diagnostic Technique Act 1994 in Government as well as private hospitals.

The drive has already reached Public Hospital at Hatta and Maroodyan Clinic at Palace Gate.

Soon after the drive, Maroodyan Clinic has registered its Ultrasound machine in the PNDT Cell of Family Welfare Department.

Earlier, the Ultrasound machine was being used without registration.

However, Public Hospital has not yet come forward to register their Ultrasound machine even after they have been told to do so during the drive which was carried out more than 15 days back.

Subsequently, the matter has been tabled in a meeting of the State Advisory Board after due consultation between the PNDT Cell and the State's appropriate authority for registering an FIR with police and further legal actions.

Another Ultrasound machine was also discovered in a private doctor's house.

This time, the doctor responded positively to the department's instructions, said Dr Arun Kumar.

PNDT Act 1994 was enforced in the State since 2003 only although the same Act was enforced at the National level since 1996.Since then, NGOs and Family Welfare Department have been organising awareness programmes about the Act and female foeticide.

According to the rules of PNDT Act 1994, a pregnant woman may abort her foetus if it poses risk of death.

A woman may also abort her child if it was conceived out of rape or due to failure of family planning methods.

Except in such cases, no woman can go for abortion.

In case, a private hospital or doctor is found involved in female foeticide after identifying sex of a foetus by using Ultrasound machine illegally , the PNDT Act warrants that they can be fined up to Rs 50,000 and jailed for three years.

So far, 111 people have been punished under PNDT Act 1994 at the national level.

Moreover, 1295 FIRs have also been registered, Dr Arun Kumar said quoting Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Gulam Nabi Azad.


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