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Agent-quack nexus minting money through fake sex tests

india Updated: Aug 24, 2015 00:04 IST
P Srinivasan
P Srinivasan
Hindustan Times
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act

The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) fears have given rise to ‘cheats’ who don’t conduct a sex test but stage-manage a show through agents to mint money, health department officials said on Sunday.

Middlemen and quacks convince the couples with pro-male child mindset to go for sonography, charge heavy amounts and then tell them that they have a female foetus, state head PCPNDT cell Naveen Jain said, citing the outcome of sting operations conducted in the last week of July and the first week of August, using a pregnant woman as a decoy sonography aspirant.

At one clinic in Jaipur, an Ayurved doctor applied gel on a woman’s stomach (a decoy patient), rolled Doppler on her stomach and played a pen drive showing video of the ultrasound on the computer screen. He used a woman agent to trap gullible customers, he said.

The officials recovered Rs 25,000 from the doctor (Rs 17000) and from the woman agent (Rs 8000), which they had reportedly received from the patient for conducting Sonography.

They were later handed over to the police, Jain said.

In a similar operation in Ajmer, the team was surprised when a decoy would-be mother was declared having a female foetus by an agent 20 minutes after a reported test at a local sonography centre.

The officials soon caught the agent who later admitted that he as a rule told every woman patient to be carrying a female foetus after a normal ultrasound. He admitted that he fooled people who were inclined to getting the sex determination test done for money. He charged Rs 25,000 from the pregnant woman used by the cell as a decoy. He too was handed over to the police.

Jain said that the need of the hour was to help couples change their only-male-child orientation, which now was resulting in the killing of foetus irrespective of its sex.

Jain said the PCPNDT act was effectively implemented in Rajasthan from 2007-08 onwards. Since then till June 2015, the state cell had filed 606 complaints in the court, 85 sonography centre owners and dealers/suppliers of machines had been convicted for violating the law.

About 25 decoy operations had been conducted in the state so far and the registration of 21 doctors suspended by the Rajasthan Medical Council in this connection.

Social activist Rajan Choudhary said that the pro-male child mindset had not changed in the state even after the PCPNDT Act. In fact, the couples won’t mind visiting Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi for sex determination tests. Most of the time they fall prey to an agent and get even their male child aborted after getting illegal sonography done, he said.

Sanjeev Gupta, a sonologist and vice-president of jaipur medical association, said that a gynaecologist should inform the police station when he prescribed an ulatrasound to pregnant woman to help keep a track.