Save a Girl Child

Article for Blog Post Writing Competition 2011 | by Mudit Jain

April 12th, 201110:48 pm

The first question parents ask at the birth of the child, in all society all over the world, is always the same – “is it a boy or girl”. In our country killing of the female child is being practice from early stages.  Earlier because the scientific techniques were not advanced and it was impossible to determine the sex of the child, the killing of the female child took the form of adding opium to the infants’ milk by suffocating the infant under the mother after birth or else by plainly ill-treating daughters. The advancement in medical science and technology as regards pre natal sex determination technique has been widely and grossly misused rather abused in the Indian orthodox, conservative society. Even in the 21st Century the blessing with a female baby hardly brings cordial happiness in the majority of the Indian society.  This medical advancement is badly used in killing the girl in mother’s womb.

The government realized that the abuse of techniques which were originally, used to detect genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities or congenital abnormalities or sex-linked diseases, was leading to female foeticide. Thus the parliament for the above reason passed The Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 which came into force on 1/1/1996.

The legislation seeks to achieve following objective:

1. Prohibition of the misuse of the pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the determination of sex of foetus leading to female foeticide.

2.  Prohibition of advertisement of the techniques for the detection or determination of sex.

3. Regulation of the use of techniques only for the specific purpose of detecting genetic abnormalities or disorders, namely, Chromosomal Abnormalities, Genetic Metabolic Diseases, Haemoglobinopathies, Sex-linked diseases, Congential anomalies; or any other abnormality or disease as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board

4. Permission to use such techniques only under certain conditions by registered institutions.

5. Punishment for the violation of the provision of the Act; and

6. To provide deterrent punishment to stop such inhuman acts of female foeticide.

According to The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 the termination of certain pregnancies thereto by registered medical practitioners can only be done in certain circumstances:-

1. Where the length of the pregnancy does not exceed twelve weeks, if a medical practitioner is;

2. Where the length of the pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks but does not exceed twenty weeks, if not less than two registered medical practitioners are,

3. The continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant women or of grave injury to  her physical or mental health; or

4. There is the substantial risk that if the child was born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be handicapped.

The type of status assigned to woman in any society reflects the nature of its cultural richness and the level of its civilizational standards. Hence Swami Vivekananda said, “that country and that nation which did not respect women have never become great nor will ever in future”.

Article by-

Mudit Jain

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun

Student, B.A LLB {Hons.} Specialization in Energy Sector

[Submitted as an entry for the Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011]

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