Pregnant women to lead ‘decoy operation’ in UP to nab prenatal sex determination centres
Lucknow, June 24: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to take strict action against clinics and hospitals which offer illegal prenatal sex determination test.
In order to catch them red-handed the government is planning to take help of pregnant women who will act as "decoys" to expose the ongoing scam.
The women, who help catch hold of the "culprits", will be awarded a sum of Rs 1 lakh by the government. Several other states also run similar schemes to keep an eye on centres involved in prenatal sex determination test.
The entire exercise is an attempt to restrict the falling child sex ratio and large-scale prevalence of female foeticide in the state.
As per the 2011 census, child sex ratio in UP has dropped to 902 females per 1,000 boy children from 916 in 2001.
"The reducing child sex ratio in the state is a serious issue of worry. There is an urgent need to crack down on illegal activity of female foeticide and illegal sex determination tests," UP's principal secretary (health) Prashant Dwivedi said in a letter to all district magistrates on June 23.
The health department, in association with the National Health Mission, is all set to roll out the "decoy operation" across the state from July 1.
Since the entire operation involves a lot of risk, thus the government is ready to pay pregnant women and other informers handsomely. The government will keep the identity of those involved in decoy operation secret.
"A total of a Rs 2 lakh reward will be on offer--Rs 60,000 for an 'informer' who tips the government of illegal activity going on at any of the diagnostic centres or hospitals, Rs 1 lakh for a pregnant woman who agrees to act as a 'decoy' and Rs 40,000 for an associate accompanying the woman who would act as an 'independent witness'-- the associate can be the spouse or family member.
The payout will be in three instalments--first at the stage of a successful operation, second at the time of appearing before the court as a witness and third at the time of a conviction," stated a report by The Economic Times.
Those who are interested, including expecting mothers, to be a part of the operation can register their names with a special committee formed exclusively for the purpose.
States like Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, where child sex ratio is poor also run similar decoy operation to nab erring clinics and hospitals.