Decling Sex Ratio and Violation of human Rights
Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Director, PGSR and Professor & Head, Department of Economics,
SNDT Women’s University, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020.
E-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org Phone-91-022-26770227, mobile-9321040048
Recent controversy over Bombay Municipal Corporation filing case against Malpani Infertility Clinic at Colaba, Mumbai for violating the recently amended Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Determination) Act, 1994 has once again brought the issue of the doctor’s participation in endangering lives of girl children to lime-light. Rated as India’s top 5 infertility clinics, it’s website told the public how to select sex of their child. Despite highly reported concerns of the Supreme Court, expressed in a PIL on the subject for a very long time, the clinic continued to advertise in defiance. So far 48 clinics have been prosecuted for violation of the Act.
Legacy of continuing declining sex ratio in India in the history of Census of India has taken new turn with widespread use of new reproductive technologies (NRTs) in cities and towns of India. NRTs are based on principle of selection of the desirable and rejection of the unwanted. (Patel, 2002). In India, the desirable is the baby boy and the unwanted is the baby girl. The result is obvious. The Census results of 2001 have revealed that with sex ratio of 933 women for 1000 men, India had deficit of 3.5 crore women when it entered the new millennium. To stop the abuse of advanced scientific techniques for selective elimination of female foetuses through sex -determination, the government of India passed the PNDT Act in 1994. But the techno-docs based in the metropolis and the urban centres and the parents desirous of begetting only sons have subverted the act.