In Orissa, boys too suffer foeticide

In Nayagarh, Orissa, it is not only the girl child who is destined to land up in the dustbin before she is born but the boy child as well.

Parents wanting to get rid of the foetuses of their girl children are duped into losing boys too, according to an inquiry conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the state’s Nayagarh area recently. Of the 137 foetuses found by the district administration, some of them were of boys.

Said Sandhya Bajaj, member of the inquiry committee: “In their (doctors’) lust to make money, the parents were misled about the sex of the child.”

Most ultrasound machines in Nayagarh are of poor quality and incapable of revealing the gender of the foetus in early stages of pregnancy, Bajaj said. Doctors often lied about the sex of the child, thereby prevailing upon unsuspecting parents to opt for abortions, she added.

Inspections found that six clinics did not even have the mandatory license to operate ultrasound machines under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act.

Some private clinics were found running a campaign against girl children. The message was that it is better to spend Rs 5,000 on an abortion now rather than Rs 5 lakh on a girl child’s marriage later.

The well-oiled racket involved dumping foetuses into a man-made well to which chemicals were added for faster decomposition,” Bajaj said.

The two government doctors were found to advise expectant mothers to their private clinics for sex determination tests.

Recommending strict action against the doctors, the panel has asked the Orissa government to conduct a survey across the state to determine how many private nursing homes are involved in the racket.


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