R'than sets up helpline to fight female foeticide

Govt teams to monitor sonography machines in state

 The Rajasthan government has not only started a toll-free helpline to check increasing number of female foeticide, but also aims to monitor all sonography machines in the state, including minor details such as the operation timings of the machines. 

“Rajasthan is one of the states facing rampant problem of female foeticide. The state government has given us the direction to weed out the evil in five years. To start with, we have launched a toll-free helpline and will monitor all sonography machines in the state,” a senior health department officer said.

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPNDT) team has come up with the toll-free helpline number 104. 

Anyone who comes across such malpractice can directly call 104 and register a complaint, after which the PCPNDT team will take action.

Complaints are also registered on the official portal of the department, but the new helpline has been started for people who don’t have access to the internet and live in rural areas.

“The PCPNDT has busted a number of rackets, where doctors with fake degrees were into this business in rural areas. Every villager knew about them but they could not file complaints. After the helpline comes into effect, we will be connected to even the remotest hamlet of the state,” the officer said.

Using a new technology, PCPNDT officials and coordinators will get an SMS alert when any sonography machine in the state is switched on or off.  

If the machine is switched on in odd hours at night, details can be immediately checked by the official concerned. 

Teams will be deployed in areas based on density of diagnostics centres operating these machines. The health department has instructed the teams to increase the frequency of surprise raids at clinics.

Two-child norm

Several BJP MLAs are opposing the two-child norm in government jobs and panchayat elections. According to them, the norm will only promote female foeticide.

The legislators are of the view that if a government official or a person willing to contest elections in local bodies already has a girl child, he will definitely go for female foeticide when he finds that the second child is also a girl. 

People in Rajasthan prefer sons to daughters, and under the two-child law, having a son after two daughters is not possible. In such a situation, female foeticide is the only option.

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