After an Uttar Pradesh-based doctor announced the gender of his unborn child on a social media site, the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association has complained to the union health ministry and the director general, family welfare department of Uttar Pradesh.
Radiologists have said the doctor Dr Anshuman Upadhyay uploaded the sonography images and report, which mentions the gender of the foetus along with a comment, “My upcoming son at 18 February 2016.”
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act disallows sex determination of the foetus and any doctor found revealing the gender can be prosecuted. The law was enacted with an aim to discourage male child preference. India has a skewed sex ratio with 940 females per 1,000 males. Offences under the Act are filed with the appropriate authority appointed under it, in this case the director general, family welfare department.
“We learnt this from our members that a doctor has posted he is expecting a son on social media. When I received the shot of his social media page, I was utterly disgusted. It is a blatant violation of the PC-PNDT Act. As a doctor, he should be setting an example and not promoting sex determination,” said Dr Jignesh Thakker, president of Indian Radiological and Imaging Association.
The association has condemned the act. “We are utterly shocked that a doctor has posted such image and comment. He is propagating sex-determination by posting such comments on social media. This defeats the purpose of the Act and promotes sex selection,” added Thakker.
Dr Renu Jalote, director general, Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh Health department, said, “We are yet to receive the complaint. If there is any such violation, I will personally look into the matter. Anyone found violating the PC-PNDT Act will be punished.”
Despite repeated attempts, Upadhyay did not respond to phone calls and text messages sent by HT.
“Promoting gender selection is a serious offence. The government should immediately take action against the erring doctor. By promoting that he is going to have a male child, he is advertising the service also, which again is a violation of the Act,” said, girl child activist, Varsha Deshpande who runs a non-profit Lek Ladki Abhyaan.