Gender testing and selection kits made in the US and Canada have flooded the market in Punjab, a state with one of the lowest sex ratios in the country (874 females per 1,000 males as per Census 2001).
Investigations by HT revealed that the kits, which enable the user to know the sex of baby within the first seven weeks of pregnancy, were being sold for anything between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 20,000. They are available in the high-end markets of Ludhiana and some parts of the Doaba region.
The gender-testing kit provides home-use equipment with which the expecting mother can collect and send a finger-prick blood sample to a laboratory in US. Results are assured within 48 hours, either by email or phone.
The gender-selection kit consists of nutriceutical tablets, specially-formulated douche and ovulation predictor sticks which can help determine which sperm, X or Y, reaches and inseminates the egg.
Amid reports that the US- based firm has also entered into a deal with two hospitals in India, including one in Punjab, the Indian Medical Association plans to investigate the matter.
“Doctors who had been carrying out sex-determination tests through ultrasounds are now buying these kits online and then selling them,” said Dr Anurag Goswami of the Punjab Medical Council.