In a state criticised for its poor sex ratio, there has been just six convictions between 2009 and 14 under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. Compared to other states that are battling female foeticide like Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, the conviction rate in Gujarat looks mediocre.
During the six years, the maximum number of convictions (three) under the PC & PNDT Act 1994 has happened during 2013. There were only two convictions in 2009 and one in 2010, states a written reply of Union Health Minister J P Nadda in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Compared to Gujarat, states like Haryana (54), Maharashtra (61), Rajasthan (37) and Bihar (11) have clocked more convictions under the Act during the six-year period. A total of 206 convictions have been so far been secured under the Act across the country.
As per Census 2011, the sex ratio of Gujarat stands at 918 for 1,000 males, a shade lower than the 920 that existed in 2001. The sex ratio in rural areas of the state is 947, while in urban areas it is 880. The Surat district has the lowest sex ratio. The health commissioner of Gujarat could not be reached for his comments on the issue, despite repeated attempts.
“Inspections by the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) have been scaled up. In year 2014-15, 16 inspection visits were undertaken in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Delhi (twice), Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Manipur, Jharkhand, Tamilnadu and Gujarat,” Union Minister Nadda stated in his reply.
“States have been advised to focus on Districts/Blocks/Villages with low Child Sex Ratio to ascertain the causes, plan appropriate Behaviour Change Communication campaigns and effectively implement provisions of the PC & PNDT Act, 1994,” he added.
The government provides financial support to the states and UTs for operationalisation of PNDT Cells, Capacity Building, Orientation & Sensitisation Workshop, Information, Education and Communication campaigns and for strengthening structures for the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act, 1994 under the National Health Mission (NHM), the reply stated.