Even as skewed sex-ratio continues to ring alarm bells in the hill state, a supervisory board, constituted under Pre Natal Diagnostic Test Act (PNDT), 1994, has recommended the government to enhance incentives to couples adopting family planning measures after girl child birth.
Besides, the chief medical officers have also been pulled up for failing to implement provisions of the act to counter gender imbalance.
The supervisory board suggested enhancing incentives to families adopting the measures after birth of a single girl child from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 and to couples adopting family planning measures after birth of two girl child from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000.
Sources told Hindustan Times that the supervisory board expressed displeasure over failure of medical authorities to act against ultrasound clinics violating the norms. A national inspection and monitoring committee, constituted by the government to monitor implementation of PNDT Act, has
pointed out deficiencies in the state.
In total, there are 260 ultrasound machines fitted in government as well as private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. It's noteworthy that last year alone, 721 inspections were carried out by the district health authorities across several districts. During the inspection, the district health authorities had recommended cancellation of licenses of three clinics. While there has been no prosecution in any of the three cases.
The government had also announced an award of Rs 10,000 to the whistleblower informing about the malpractice of aborting girl child. Ironically, so far not even a single one has come forward.
The government measures to reverse the preference for boys have yet not yielded results. Many families, particularly in rural areas, place greater value on sons, who are considered best suited to continue the family line, generate income and ensure that parents are cared for during their old age.
According to a population census conducted in 2011, the sex ratio was not good. The supervisory board has also summoned chief medical officers of Solan, Kullu Bilaspur and Kullu, where there are reports that clinics fitted with ultrasounds were not adhering to the PNDT Act.