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Beed Female Foeticide: Can Govt Laws curb Illegal Abortions?

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By Chinmayee Dash: Maharashtra government might be talking tough to take stern action against government officials, who will be found guilty in illegal sex determination tests following the instances of female foeticide in Beed region came to light. But can the laws alone curb such activities in the state?

The district has the lowest male-female sex ratio among children under the age of 6 in the state. But the recent instances of female foeticide brought a negative image not only in the state or country but in the world. The region is the instance, but it is not the lone district where illegal sex determination tests were being conducted.

There are so many districts and regions in the country where people are still in a notion that a boy is the ultimate heir of the family.

Maharashtra Health Minister Suresh Shetty openely criticised the female foeticide in Beed and said that officials checking the female foeticide in the state, will be dealt strictly.

He termed the act as “disgusting”. But he should make it clear that how long the government will take strong action against the health department officials. It is a tough task for the government to curb illegal abortion as people, who prefer male child over girl, can find ultimate option for sex determination and abortion.

Instead of giving false promises and taking ineffective action, the government should try to create awareness among people to decline the declining girl child sex ratio in Maharashtra. Recently, the government has decided to educate rural couple, who gets married newly, a through letter explaining why female foeticide is a sin against humanity.

The government has realized that besides stringent laws, there is need for more target oriented awareness on the issue. Hence, it has decided to direct gram panchayat members to keep tabs on marriages happening in their areas. The gram panchayat will be asked to attend the marriage ceremony and hand over a government letter explaining the importance of a girl child in the society.

Female foeticide in Beed came to light after three foetuses were found dumped on June 2 at various places in the district of Marathwada region.

The local authorities on May 25 had sealed a private hospital run by a doctor couple for allegedly carrying out illegal abortion of a 30-year-old woman that resulted in her death on May 18.

The government has asked for a crackdown on medical shops selling abortion pills without proper prescription. While many are criticising the government for its failure to handle the issue, actor Amir Khan, who has turned a social reformer through his TV programme ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in his letter to health minister Suresh Shetty has appreciated efforts taken by the Maharashtra government to deal with the declining girl child sex ratio. Last month the state government had written a letter to Khan, thanking him for taking up the social issue such as declining child sex ratio.

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