Decoy customers to check illegal sex tests
Government announces Rs 5000 for decoy customers, rewards for equal sex ratio to village councils.chandigarh Updated: Jan 04, 2006 17:52 IST
Authorities in Punjab have decided to use decoy customers to zero in on doctors and health facilities that are conducting outlawed sex determination tests for unborn babies.
The determination of the sex of unborn babies is prohibited under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act.
Alarmed by the poor sex ratio in the state, less than 800 females for every 1,000 males, the state health department has constituted teams of decoy customers to trap doctorsperformingsex tests.
With the generally affluent Punjabi society favouring sons, female foeticide had been on the rise in the past decade.
Officials said that the decoy customers would be paid up to Rs 5,000 to help nab diagnostic centres indulging in illegal sex determination tests. Awards will also be given to village councils that achieve an equal sex ratio in their villages.
Punjab's Health and Family Welfare Secretary D.S. Guru said that field officers of the department had been given more powers to deal with pre-natal diagnostic test centres and to ensure that no sex determination tests were being carried out.
The government also recently approved a Rs 5 million scheme under which parents of girls would be given financial incentives till the girls attained adulthood, provided both parents opted for permanent sterilisation.