“It is not poverty, but our patriarchal society that is the main reason for high rates of female foeticide in our country,” said Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector, on Tuesday.
She was inaugurating a workshop on creating awareness about Pre-Conception and Pre-natal diagnostic Techniques (PC PNDT) (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act -1994 here.
Rejecting the notion that poverty made people prefer son, Ms. Jayashree said that even states with high GDP such as Punjab and Haryana had a skewed sex ratio, because of society’s preference for men.
Observing that although Tiruchi district had an adult sex ratio of 1000 males per 1013 females, she said according to the recent census, child sex ratio (for those aged less than 5) was 1000: 947. Quoting data published in the acclaimed medical journal Lancet , Ms. Jayashree said in the last 20 years, India had witnessed one crore female foeticides.
“The gender of an unborn child must never be revealed by medical professionals. The PC PNDT Act strictly prohibits it,” said Ms. Jayashree while urging everyone present to take an oath against sex determination before birth.
She advised doctors to counsel parents against their bias towards the girl child. The workshop had sessions on misuse of PC PNDT Act, legal issues with respect to the act, diagnostic procedures and tests and requirements of imaging centres. Doctors, radiologists, and public prosecutors sensitised the participants on various issues. S. Shamsath Begum, Chief Medical Officer, Government Hospital, Srirangam, and Dr. Ramani Devi, gynaecologist, spoke.