FOETICIDE HOTLINE: Brother calls up,gives cell number of woman in distress
A Call made to the health departments hotline today exposed the tatters in the social fabric of Punjab,which is still not ready to accept daughters.
A man from Fatehgarh Sahib made a call to the hotline and gave mobile number of his sister,who,he claimed,was forced to abort her female foetus. National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Managing Director Anurag Agarwal asked Vasundhra Khurana,Manager,Monitoring and Evaluation,NRHM,to call up the woman.
Speaking to Khurana,the victim said she lived in
Naugawan village in Fatehgarh Sahib,and her in-laws first killed her six-month-old foetus and then in September last year,forcibly aborted her two-and-a-half-month unborn child at a Sirhind hospital.
When asked why was she reporting the matter now,she said,piqued by her repeated protests against their ways,her in-laws had tried to set her afire ten days ago. She claimed that she escaped from their clutches with the help of her neighbours and reached her brothers house in Janherian village.
The woman said she was ready to record her statement. Main gavahi den nu tayyar hain, she told Khurana. When asked if any tests were conducted to know the sex of the foetus,she said,I dont have any reports,but why would they kill my child if it were not a girl.
A monitoring and evaluation officer was sent to the village to talk to the woman and record her statement and the civil surgeon was also informed. When her in-laws were contacted by the department team,they said she had herself gone for abortion and her first child was a stillborn. However,the woman alleged that she was beaten up and kicked by her in-laws so brutally that she lost her first child.
Raids would be conducted at the hospital in Sirhind on Friday to check the veracity of the complaint.
Sources in the department said these days ultrasound centres work slyly and inform about the sex of the child by gestures. Some of the doctors show thumbs up or say very good if its a boy, a source said.
The hotline records show that the womans brother had called up twice earlier,but he could not give complete details. This time,he must have run out of patience,and decided to report the crime against his sister, said an official.
The state had started the hotline (0172-4005252) in October last under NRHM to deal with various health problems,especially foeticide. Functional from Monday to Friday (9 am to 6 pm),the hotline keeps the caller anonymous by blocking the phone number and also changing the voice pitch using a digital technique.