Many people from educated families in the city are allegedly going ahead with sex selective abortions. The worst hit areas are Punjabi Bagh, Narela and Najafgarh.
Many ‘educated’ people from well- to-do families in ther capital are opting for sex selective abortions. And I blame the government for its inability to enforce the law properly.” Says Dr Ranjana Kumari, director, Centre for Social Research. Highlighting the shocking sex ratio figures of the city, a recent survey by the Centre for Social Research (CSR), has revealed that age–old customs and family traditions are the two major reasons that drive most families towards female foeticide. Shockingly, many people belonging to educated families in the capital are committing the shameful act.
“People call me everyday for such requests. It’s sad young educated people from well-to-do families want to abort the girl child. I was taken aback when a young couple from an affluent family came to my clinic to ask for the same. When I told them it was illegal, they said that they are ready to pay what it takes to get the test done. Disgracefully, people are ready to pay more than Rs 5 lakh to get sex selective abortion done,” reveals Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, Fertility Expert, SCI Healthcare. She adds, “What’s even more disappointing is that I get reference calls from doctor colleagues if I refuse to help these young couples who are supposedly do ‘future’ to our country.
CSR, the NGO, which has been working in the field of social action reveals that the country has lost over 10 million girls because of female foeticide in the last 20 years. While experts try their best to curb it in the city, this survey brought to fore some “shocking realities”. “Over 410 cases of violation (for non-compliance in terms of filling the forms for ultra sonography and non-registration of the required equipment) by doctor have been reported. But the maximum fine they have to pay is Rs 40,000. There are doctor who find an easy escape even with a fine of just Rs 4,000. It’s shameful that the real crime is not even highlighted,” expresses Ranjana.
Appallingly, there are many medical professionals engage in the act caring little for the established laws. The study by CSR covered three important areas (namely Narela, Punjabi Bagh and Najafgarh) of Delhi, which have the lowest sex ratio.
Shares Ranjana, “Our research team was also informed that there is not one, but many such clinics in the Punjabi Bagh area which are fearlessly aborting the girl child for their client.”
The CSR survey revealed that even in the era of economic growth and rising awareness, apart from a son’s preference, many families find it economically difficult to raise a girl child. Social activist Nafisa Ali expresses, “Even today, when the country has progressed to new heights, there are people who don’t want a girl child because they don’t want to fund her education and dowry deaths scare them.”
What is even more frightening is when the CSR research team enquired about those who perform the sex selective abortions, a majority of respondents from the areas revealed that the doctors and nurses in private clinics and rural practitioners performed the act.
She adds, “I’m disgusted by what educated people are doing to kill their own child. In my opinion, the doctors involved in the gruesome act should be punished. This is being done to make money. The medical specialists and couples involved are ‘businessman looking for profit’. Gone are those days when your funeral pyre had to be fit by your son. “Times have changed. The society needs to wake up to the fact that girls are excelling in every field today.”
However, some experts also revealed, more than anyone else, it’s the mother of unborn girl, who wants to abort her child. Says Dr Anita Gupta, gynaecologist, Women and Child Clinic, GM Modi Hospital. “On many occasions, pregnant women with their mother-in-law come to me, wanting to abort their unborn girl. I have observed that the need for such sex selective abortions is more among the women than their husband, which is very upsetting.”
What’s even more disappointing is that I get reference calls from doctor colleague if I refuse to help these couples. Sadly, we call this young generation the future of our country.
Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour
CSR SURVEY REVELATIONS
- Nearly 38% of the respondents in Punjabi Bagh, 71% in Narela and 13.55% in Najafgarh admitted that age-old customs and family traditions are the two major reasons for wanting a son.
- When questioned about the awareness and incidents of sex selective abortions, female foeticide in the community, 69.9% of respondents in Narela, 55% from Punjabi Bagh and 11.5% from Najafgarh reported that they were aware of sex- selection and female foeticide.
- On enquiring who performs these sex-selective abortions, a majority of people in these three area said that abortion or female foeticide is being performed by doctors and nurses in private clinics and rural practitioners or quacks.
- While no ultrasound clinics or doctor admitted that they are conducting such activities, upon secret enquiry, the community people named 2-3 clinics and nursing homes in each area that conducted sex selective abortions.