Odisha cracks down on pre-birth gender tests

As per Census 2011, Odisha now has 934 girls under six years old for every 1,000 boys in that age range.

Updated: Sep 27, 2012, 17:56 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to launch a sting operation to trap those who attempt to determine the sex of unborn children, an official said on Thursday.

According to Census 2011, the state now has 934 girls under six years old for every 1,000 boys in that age range.

Although the prenatal sex determination test is illegal in India, it continues to be done in several places, with some doctors and health centres using ultrasound machines for the purpose.

The state government has now decided to trap doctors and health centres that continue to perform prenatal sex determination tests, state health secretary PK Mohapatra told a news agency.

The health secretary said that decoys would be sent to approach health centres and nursing homes. A spy camera could be used for the purpose of recording the conversations and activities that occur inside nursing homes suspected to be conducting prenatal sex determination tests. The recordings could later serve as evidence, Mohapatra said.

While the government has decided to form five special teams at the state level, district collectors have been asked to form their own teams to conduct such operations, the health secretary said.

Mohapatra said the government had also made budgetary provision to reward the people who help it to trap offenders.

"We have already trapped some people. In the last two months, at least 20 ultrasound machines that were used for prenatal sex determination tests were seized from different places of the state," Mohapatra said.