The dip in the sex ratio and growing number of female foeticides has forced the state to do a rethink on the laws and implementation of rules related to pre-natal diagnosis in Maharashtra.
The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act envisages a regulation for the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound for the purpose of detecting genetic or metabolic disorders or chromosomal abnormality or certain congenital malformations or sex-related disorders in the babies in the womb.
However, it is commonly seen that this is used otherwise to abort the female child.
“Stringent measures need to be taken and laws should be amended accordingly. Action needs to be initiated against the misuse of abortion pills that are readily available in the market and they should be included as part of the scheduled drug,” said health minister Suresh Shetty, after the first meeting of a state supervisory committee.
The committee has been constituted to take a fresh view of the PNDT Act.
The committee has decided to appoint competent authorities at the state and district levels to ensure proper implementation of the Act.
The committees, comprising officers from the health, women and child welfare and law and judiciary department along with members of local non-government organisations, will be appointed within the next fortnight.
The committees intend to involve the local police in the process and would make use of special squads that will keep a check on sonography centers.
“There is also a great need to raise awareness about the issue for which we will be appointing a brand ambassador. We will also taking state minister Fauzia Khan as a honorary member of the state committee,” Shetty said.