After an online petition against certain retail e-commerce marketplaces for selling books and manuals on sex selection, some of the websites withdrew the material but others continue to offer them for sale.
The petition was started by a coalition of non-government organisations, Girls Count, in February. Soon after, some small online marketplaces immediately withdrew the books from their websites. Some even offered apology for having been an impediment to the cause of saving the girl child in the country. However, some of the bigger players have neither stopped listing the books on their sites nor responded to inquiries put up by Girls Count.
“After starting the petition, while some of them withdrew the sale of such books immediately, some did after some time,” said Rizwan Parvez, coordinator Girls Count. “After that we decided to approach each of the companies selling sex determination literature, individually but they have not even responded to our correspondence let alone stopping the sale,” he added.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act prohibits all forms of advertisements related to sex selection services in India. As per the law, no person can issue, publish, distribute, communicate any advertisement, in any form, including on the Internet, regarding facilities of sex selection. But the online shopping platforms, which cater to all age groups, continue to sell books that claim to help people choose the gender of the child.
One of the companies named by Girls Count in the petition – in an email response to HT said, “We remain committed to ensure all products sold on (company’s name) are consistent with local laws and regulations.”