Divine turn to sex determination

Illegal practice

Despite a blanket ban imposed on diagnostic centres from conducting sex-determination test, the illegal activity seemed to be thriving in Bihar with impunity.

Those doing so could not be apprehended because of the unique modus operandi adopted by the practitioners. Till a Central team of National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) unearthed the racket in Vaishali.

According to a member of the team, the clinicians and doctors at Hajipur (in Vaishali) would not tell the patients, who came in for pre-natal sex determination test, the sex of the unborn child. But if it was a boy, they would offer floral tributes to Lord Ganesha’s poster pasted all over the walls of the diagnostic centre. If it were a girl, they would offer flowers before the photo of Goddess Saraswati.

After getting the hint, the patients were supposed to pay Rs 300 before leaving.
All these clandestine dealings went on unhindered till someone tipped off the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about the illegal activities of these diagnostic centres, which, of late, have mushroomed not only in Vaishali, but in the state capital too.

Eventually, a NIMC team comprising Dr S Mathew George, Ifita Hamid, Varsha Deshpande and Dr Neelam Singh (advocate) raided the clinics and found the allegations true. Though the owners of the diagnostic centres fled before the raid, the clinics were sealed in the presence of district health officials.

“We were aghast over such ‘innovative’ methods adopted. The posters of gods in clinics clearly indicated what was in store to the patients,” said Varsha Deshpande, a member of the NIMC team.

The team members then launched a crackdown in Patna, too, and sealed two private clinics for conducting illegal sex-determination test.

The raids were conducted after reports suggested that the sex-ratio figure for Patna and Vaishali stood at 892 females per 1,000 males and the number of girls of late had been showing a steep decline.

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