CHENNAI: A random inspection carried out by volunteers of the Campaign against Sex Selective Abortion has revealed that prominent hospitals and scan centres in the city do not maintain crucial documents as prescribed by the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, which governs prevention of sex-selective abortion in the country.
Out of the 10 centres that the volunteers visited, a majority of them did not even possess Form B of the PCPNDT Act which certifies the registration of the scan centre. It is mandatory for the centres to renew their registration every five years. “Even those who had the form, did not have details such as the equipment available, their numbers, and the person in-charge of operating them,” said a member of the organisation.
The new version of the Form F issued by the government in January this year, requires the centres to record a set of 23 different details of the diagnosis, the procedure involved and the recommendation of the doctor. This too has gone unrecorded.
“None of the hospitals had the new Form B even though it has been 11 months since it was issued. This form was issued in January this year, but many did not even know about its existence,” said M Jeeva, convenor of the Campaign against Sex Selective Abortion. The scan centre in a prominent government medical college in the city too did not have Form F.
The members said the declining child sex ratio was a direct effect of the absence of the implementation of the Act. The organisation pointed out that the last census showed that the child sex ratio of Chennai had declined by 21 points. “While the Act specifies that regular reports must be sent to the committees set up for the purpose at the State, district and taluk levels, none of these things is happening. Neither is there any inspection,” he said.
The members pointed out that there was hardly any punitive action against the violators. Of the 2,500 complaints filed for violation of the PCPNDT Act, only 77 were taken up. Even out of this, only one case saw conviction, and that too with just a day’s imprisonment.
While the sex ratio at birth needs to be 952, in several districts it has gone down below 905. While the child sex ratio is to be 986, several districts have it below 943. To campaign against the absence of monitoring on scan centres and to bring awareness on the issue of declining sex ratio, a Campaign Against Genocide Against Girl Children will be organised in the coming months.