A year after the state and the civic officials of the 22 border districts from Maharashtra held a meeting with their counterparts from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa to discuss the skewed sex ratio in the areas, it has been learnt that the second meeting has been scheduled for November. Last year’s meeting was held at Khandala in December.
A few of the officials from the state, who would be a part of the meeting, said that one of the major issues to be discussed this year was the dumping of 13 foetuses in the river bed of Sankeshwar village near Belgaum, bordering Karnataka, apart from putting and end to the practice of gender specific abortions andbring culprits to book. The gruesome incident had occurred in January.
“Possibility of people from border town of one state going to another for sex determination can’t be ruled out. So put and end to curb this practice, we decide to hold meetings with our counterparts from the neighbouring state with whom we share our border. A proposal has been sent to main office and the venue for the meeting will be decided once cleared.” said Sudhakar Kokane, state nodal officer for implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994. The act was amended in 2003.
He added that the aim of the meeting was to device plans that would help eliminate gender-specific abortions completely. “To achieve this goal, coordination and cooperation between all the officials from all the neighbouring states is a must. For example, people from Kolhapur may go to Karnataka for sex determination or visa versa. So to put and end to such practices, officials from borderline districts need to unite,” Kokane said.
Dr Prakash Waghela, deputy director of Rural Health and former in-charge of PCPNDT Cell in Gujarat, said, “Our representative had attended the last meeting in Maharashtra. It is a good initiative. Jurisdiction issues make it difficult to act against culprits. After the meeting, joint action taken by the officials from the two states resulted in arrests of two doctors from Surat in March.”
The two doctors were arrested for their involvement in operating a sex selection and determination racket. The duo was apprehended after a decoy from the Nandurbar helped local NGO and authorities nail the suspects.