Rajasthan jolted into action on skewed child sex ratio



Jaipur: Alarmed over the state's falling child sex ratio as revealed by Census-2011, the Rajasthan government is examining the records of ultrasound clinics in every district of the state for their alleged role in pre-natal sex determination tests, an official said on Monday.

The state's medical and health department has seized ultrasound machines and records of least 70 sonography centres since Saturday.

According to the figures released by the latest census, Rajasthan has 883 girls between the ages of 0 to 6 for every 1,000 boys in the same age group. The child sex ratio in 2001 was 909.

"We have ordered scrutiny of records in all districts of the state. Chief medical and health officers are carrying out checks in each district. In the previous three days, we have examined records of at least 70 sonography centres and have found irregularities at many," a senior medical and health department official told a news agency.

The officials seized three sonography machines and records from seven centres Sunday.

"Licenses of some of these centres were found to have expired," he said.

The official added that the drive will continue in the days to come.

"After complete inspection of the records, legal action will be taken against errant untrasound clinics under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT Act)," he said.

The maximum number of irregularities have been found in state capital Jaipur.

However, non-government organisations have questioned the state government's seriousness in tackling the menace of female infanticide.

"Even authorities in Haryana allege that it is easy to conduct sex-determination tests in Rajasthan. So, people from these states come to ultrasound clinics here," activist AK Prajapati said.

He added that first information reports (FIRs) should be filed against the guilty.

"After conducting checks, officials immediately claim that they have found irregularities. But when it comes to taking action, they say investigations are underway. The authorities have double standards," an activist said on condition of anonymity.

IANS