Women’s and health rights organisations under the banner of the Stree Mukti Andolan Sampark Samiti and the Jan Arogya Manch Friday held a public demonstration in front of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) office on Tilak Road in Pune. They appealed to the medical community to adhere to the Pre Conception – Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act and protect the girl child instead of ‘criminal’ doctors.
The protesters criticised the campaign against the Act by certain sections led by the IMA and the Indian Radiological Imaging Association (IRIA) and publicly appealed that doctors should themselves send decoy cases to those within their community known to indulge in sex determination.
Kiran Moghe (Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana), Dr Manisha Gupte (MASUM), Anand Pawar (Samyak), Medha Kale (Tathapi) and Dr Sanjay Dabhade (Jan Arogya Manch), who participated in the demonstration, expressed their concern about the manner in which certain sections of the medical community have launched an aggressive campaign against the PC-PNDT Act of 1994, which was passed when it became apparent that there was widespread misuse of medical technology for foetal sex determination with the objective of eliminating the girl child.
It is now unfortunate that prestigious organisations like the IMA and the IRIA are pressurising the government to amend the PC-PNDT Act and Rules and also spearheading a campaign aimed at maligning the authorities responsible for stringent implementation of the Act, a statement issued Friday said.
The filling of the “F” Form, about which the doctors are so agitated, is an integral and mandatory part of the implementation of the PC-PNDT Act. It was designed when the Act was passed in 1994 and its Rules framed in 1996 to maintain detailed records about the patient. Along with other records, it can also act as corroborative evidence of possible malpractices. To treat irregularities in the maintenance of the “F” Form as a minor offence with lighter punishments is to take away the teeth of the Act.