The cost of killing a foetus in Orissa is just Rs 5,000 and it does not matter whether it is male or female, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has found.
The commission, in its report on foeticide cases in Nayagarh area of Orissa, had said some of the 137 foetus found were of the boys. “We are waiting for forensic results to know the exact number of male foetus killed,” Sandhya Bajaj, commission member, who conducted the inquiry, said. “In their lust to earn money the parents were mislead about sex of the child,” she added.
Most of the ultra-sound machines were of poor quality and not capable of revealing the gender of the foetus in the early stage of pregnancy, the committee found. But, to earn quick buck the parents were advised to opt for abortion irrespective of whether it was boy or a girl, Bajaj said.
The six clinics inspected were not having the mandatory license to operate the ultra sound machines under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, the report said. Even among government functionaries the awareness about the Act was very low.
To get clients, some of the private clinics were also found to be running a highly disparaging campaign against the girl child. The six clinics inspected by the committee used to tell people spend Rs 5,000 now or Rs five lakh at the girl’s marriage, the committee has said. And, the women used to be the target group of the campaign.
The commission found the whole operation to be well oiled racket with foetus being dumped into a man-made well and then treated with chemicals for faster decay. “Effort was made to clean all evidence but few blood stains were also found,” Bajaj said.
The two doctors, prima facie, involved were on government rolls and used to recommend the patients to their private clinics for sex determination tests. “It was there in small two room shady clinics that the abortion was done,” Bajaj revealed.
Recommending strict criminal action against the doctors, the committee has asked the Orissa government to conduct a state-wise survey about the private nursing homes involved in the racket. “We have asked them to submit a status report on number of ultra sound machines running without license within a month,” she said.