We the undersigned representatives of women’s and civil society organizations express our deep concern about the fact that medical associations have demanded to amend the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act.
An amendment to the law at this stage will not only weaken the PC-PNDT Act but also defeat the purpose of Government of India’s flagship programme – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) which was launched in January 2015. The proposed amendments by medical associations would allow tens of thousands of medical professionals to continue profiteering from gender-biased sex selection and escape criminal prosecution.
The Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in 0-6 age group has been continuously declining since 1981 Census. According to an estimate, on an average 4.56 lakh girls went missing at birth every year during the period 2001-12. The Sample Registration Survey (SRS) Statistical Report-2013 which was released in 2015 by Census of India shows the same adverse trend at birth for most of the states. The Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) was found to be 864 for Haryana, 867 for Punjab, 902 for J&K, 893 for Rajasthan, 911 for Gujarat, 902 for Maharashtra, and 878 for Uttar Pradesh (2011-13).
Parliament enacted the PC-PNDT Act in 1994 to contain gender-biased sex selection but its implementation remained only on papers for several years. On the other hand misuse of technology like ultrasound machines multiplied. There were even advertisements put up by the medical professionals reading “Spend 500 rupees now and save 5 lakh later, get sex selection test done”.
And as a result, gender-biased sex selection continued and the heinous practice made inroads to other parts of the country as well. It was only after the intervention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in 2001 that necessary structure for implementation of PC-PNDT Act was created.
However, the recent Census clearly highlights the fact that gender-biased sex selection is still rampant and the situation demands stringent and more accountable implementation of the PC-PNDT Act. The present Act is adequate to create deterrence and deal with the crime of gender-biased sex selection like it has been done in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana. Medical professionals indulging in the illegal and unethical practice of gender-biased sex selection have started facing the brunt and recently more than 70 doctors have been convicted under the Act.
Unfortunately, there is a powerful medical lobby which has been pushing to undermine the PC-PNDT Act by opposing its implementation and demanding amendments to certain Sections and Rules of the Act. Regrettably, pressure is also being built by the professional medical associations on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India to dilute the strong provisions of the present Act.
Therefore, we the representatives of women’s and civil society organisations from different parts of the country appeal to the MoHFW for not allowing amendments to the present PC-PNDT Act. In a situation where SRB and CSR are not in favour of girls, the medical lobby should be proactively engaged on the issue and support the implementation of the Act in its present form and expose the errant medical professionals who are indulging in the practice of gender-biased sex selection.
- No amendment to the present PC-PNDT Act.
- Strict implementation of the present Act at block, district, state level.
- Dr Bijayalaxmi Nanda, Miranda House, Delhi University
- Dr Mitu Khurana, Medical practitioner & social worker
- Veenu Kakkar, Development Professional
- Dr Sabu George, Activist
- Anushree Bernard, Vanishing Girls Campaign
- Savitri Ray, CWDS
- Jagmati Sangwan, AIDWA
- Dr Manasi Mishra, Centre for Social Research (CSR)
- Rizwan Parwez, Girls Count
- Manmeet Kaur, PGIMER
- Subhash Mendhapurkar, SUTRA
- Bimla Chandrasekar, EKTA Resource Centre
- Naseem Ansari, Tarun Chetna
- Stalin K, Video Volunteers
- Varsha Deshpande, DMVM
- Monica Banerjee, NFI
- Nasiruddin Haider, Journalist
- Pawan Kumar, ISRD
- Dr Neelam Singh, Gynecologist and Chief Functionary, Vatsalya, UP
- Smita Khanijow, Action Aid
- Satish Kumar Singh, Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ)
- Mukhtarul Haque, Bachpan Bachao Andolan
- Mousumi Kundu, Breakthrough
- Brijmohan Sharma, SARD, Reodar, Sirohi
- Sunita, Mahila Panch Sarpanch Sangathan, Rajasthan
- Satish Kundu, RP Education Society, Haryana
- Abha Bhaiya, Jagori, One Billion Rising
- Lalit Surjan, MSF
- Pallavi Patel, CHETNA
- Mukesh Kumar Sinha, MPVHP
- Keerthi, Vasavya Mahila Mandali
- Dr A L Sharada, Population First
- K C Santhosh Kumar, MAYA, Kerela
- Dheeraj Gaba, ROOH
- Sushila Payal, NEED
- Ram Kishore Prasad Singh, GENVP
- Manju Upadhyay, CASP Delhi
- Lotty Alaric, Journalist
- Svati, Social Activist
- Anju Sinha, Gramin Evam Nagar Vikas Parishad
- Shefali Sharma, Social Activist
- Minaxi Shukla, FORCES, Gujarat
- Shanmugam Velayuthan, Child For You
- Anindam Basu, Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad
- Asha Savkar, Gulabi Gang, Gujarat
- Natubhai Lageraho, Lok Andolan, Gujarat
- Kamal Kumar Dixit, AASS, Gwalior
- Shimona Kanwar, Journalist, TOI Chandigarh
- FEMALE, Jharkhand
- Bharat Nayak, Parivartan, Assam
- Raaj Mondal, Let Her Live Campaign, Delhi
- J P Jain
- Chaitali Haldar, Jagori
- Manmohan Singh, VHAP
- Nasiruddin Haider Khan, UP
- Kuldip Chand, Arpan Society
- Saem Hashmi, Girls Count
- Garima Kaur, Girls Count
- Kashish Badar, Girls Count
- Rakhee Bakshee, WFS
- Satya, Seba Jagat, Odisha
- Dr B Keerthi, Vasavya Mahila Mandali, Andhra Pradesh
- Elizabeth Reno
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