Aamir Khan is basking in the afterglow of the overwhelming response to his TV debut, and the state government seems desperate to piggyback on his efforts, in hope that his star power will work where their political powers failed, and help reverse the disproportionate child sex ratio in the state.
Public Health Minister Suresh Shetty has written a three-page letter to the actor, appealing to him to ‘support and associate with the state government for the noble cause of elevating the status of the girl child, and join the campaign against sex determination.’ The first chapter of the show had left the Rajasthan government with egg on its face, as the programme revealed that though a sting operation carried out seven years ago by two journalists had exposed 140 doctors involved in sex determination tests and abortions, no action had been taken against them.
Eager to paint a different picture for Maharashtra, Shetty said that 27 errant doctors and four family members had been charged fines along with imprisonment in 25 cases for the violation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in the state. He also revealed that four doctors had been deregistered from the state’s medical council, and names of 40 doctors have been submitted to the council for deregistration, after charges were framed against them under the Act.
As many as 317 cases have been registered against sonography centres, and funds have been given to NGOs to aid their efforts to expose truant doctors, said Shetty. He further added that 34 sting operations had been conducted, which led to conviction of seven doctors with fine and imprisonment, for revealing the sex of the foetus. Shetty admitted that these efforts had failed to achieve the desired level of impact, and had failed to reverse the faltering child sex ratio in the state. A marginal change had been noticed in the sex ratio in urban areas, where the problem had been more acute, he said.
Did you know?
The child sex ratio has declined from 913 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001 to 883 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011