Lauds journalists who carried out sting operation to expose doctors

Following up his focus on female foeticide in the first episode of his television debut Satyamev Jayate, actor Aamir Khan met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday.

Mr. Khan, who called on Mr. Gehlot at the latter's Civil Lines residence, sought speedy trial of those charged under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, following a sting operation in the State by a television channel a few years ago.

“This issue is of much importance to the people of the country. Looking after the girl child is a vital area,” he said, talking to mediapersons later in the presence of Mr. Gehlot.

Giving details of the discussion, he said the Chief Minister had assured him that he would talk to the Chief Justice of Rajasthan regarding setting up of a special court for the trial of female foeticide cases.

“He also informed me of the initiatives being taken by the Rajasthan government to protect the girl child,” he said.

Both Mr. Khan and Mr. Gehlot congratulated journalists Shripal Shaktawat and Meena Sharma, who had carried out the sting operation for the TV channel, collecting evidence against the doctors who did the illegal abortions, after testing the gender of the child in the womb with the help of sonography machines. Both the journalists, who joined Mr. Khan in the first episode telecast by Doordarshan, Star Plus and some other TV channels last Sunday, were present.

“We need more journalists of this kind in the country,” Mr. Khan said. “Female foeticide isn't in the interest of society. These journalists acted in public interest,” said Mr. Gehlot, joining him in praising the scribes who had to undergo hardships after their effort. Mr. Gehlot congratulated Mr. Khan for taking up the cause of the “never-to-be-born girl children.”

“The topic touched my heart. I am doing the TV show because my heart said so,” Mr. Khan, who had highlighted the plight of a dyslexic child through the movie, Taare Zameen Par, said. “Still, I don't consider myself an activist. I am an entertainer. I cannot talk of just one issue for 24 hours. My passion is to make people laugh, cry, and feel entertained,” he said.

“Entertainment isn't just making people laugh. Entertainment is what moves people. I am happy that the first episode of my TV show touched hearts,” Mr. Khan said. “We wait for the governments to act for us. The governments are also doing their work, but what we have done, too, is important,” he said. “First, I have to be the change I want to see. The change comes from within.”

While he refused to divulge the theme of the next episode coming up, he said all the 13 episodes would highlight serious issues. “Wait till Sunday,” Mr. Khan said, with his enigmatic smile.

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