Sex determination still rampant in Hyderabad, state

Hyderabad’s sex ratio is only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, which is lower than the state’s 939; in city, sex determination is done more in Bandlaguda and Charminar mandals

Published: 30th September 2013 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2013 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

It took the brutal December 16 Delhi gang-rape to bring about stricter laws against the heinous crime, and the incident has also given rise to new collective angst against crimes concerning women. However, while that may be one side of the story, invisible crimes such as female foetocide, illegal sex determination and abandonment of infant girls continue to be perpetrated and are yet to be addressed.

Last week, an infant girl was killed by stray dogs in Vanasthalipuram after she was abandoned by her parents. While it certainly was not the first case of dogs attacking infants in the city, it also was not the same with the girl child being abandoned by her parents. Mostly, babies are dumped in garbage bins.

“I cannot forget this one case some years ago, wherein a woman left her infant in the middle of the road to be run over by vehicles. When we asked her later why she did that, the mother told me that she did not want the girl to go through a hard life just as her”, recalled Jamila Nishat, who runs the Shaheen Resource Centre for women in the Old City.

While abandoning infant girls is one issue, sex determination still prevails in the city and across the state in spite of it being illegal.

S Anuradha, coordinator of Action Aide, an NGO, explained that in the four districts of Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Anantapur and Warangal where they conducted a study and found that people come all the way to Hyderabad just for an abortion, due to better medical facilities in the city.

“In the city, Bandlaguda and Charminar mandals are the two areas where sex determination is done more. While there is a perception that it is higher among the Muslim communities, it is however prevalent across the city”, she stated.

She further added that when she asked people from the four districts as to why they resort to such things, the most common reply was that girls are considered to be a burden on the family since they will leave after marriage.

“Also, families want heirs, so they prefer boys. Moreover, they are also worried about how much dowry they will end up paying during marriage”, ascertained Anuradha.

She pointed out that Hyderabad’s sex ratio is only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, which is lower than the state’s 939. “In the districts, now there are also mobile scanning machines. Moreover in government health care centres, the main perpetrators of sex determination are the regional medical practitioners (RMP)”, she said.

When contacted, A Narendrudu, district medical health officer (DMHO), Hyderabad, informed that each month about 20-30 decoy operations are carried out across the city to ensure that fertility centres do not reveal the sex of the unborn child. He said that they engage in sting operations to identify the violating clinics and added that carrying out such operations in the Old City is not easy due to objections from residents.

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