NCW asks Mizoram to probe hospital’s refusal to deliver baby without woman’s Voter-ID
The NCW move follows publication of a news report about the incident in Vanglaini, a Mizo daily, on May 5.Updated: May 07, 2020 23:59 IST
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked the Mizoram government to probe the alleged refusal by a hospital to help deliver a baby for failure of the expectant mother to show her Voter-ID card.
“NCW is disturbed to read the report of negligence and denial of service by the hospital officials to the pregnant woman. We’ve written to Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, chief secretary, Mizoram, for an immediate inquiry,” NCW tweeted on Wednesday.
The NCW move follows publication of a news report about the incident in Vanglaini, a Mizo daily, on May 5. According to the report, the senior medical officer of Tlabung Civil Hospital in Lunglei district had issued such a notification in March this year.
“Voter ID is mandatory for every woman delivering a child at Tlabung Hospital and those who do not possess valid Voter ID cards are not allowed to deliver a child here,” said the notice--Vanglaini mentioned in its report.
The matter was brought to the notice of NCW by Paritosh Chakma, president of the Mizoram Chakma Alliance Against Discrimination (MCAAD) who in his complaint termed the hospital move as “bone-chilling, out-rightly unethical, illegal and flagrant violation of right to health”.
Chakma alleged that the notification issued by the hospital is part of the continuing discrimination against the minority Chakmas of Mizoram, who face a lot of discrimination in the state despite being Indian citizens.
He added that denial of healthcare to a pregnant woman who doesn’t have a Voter ID could even happen in cases when the expectant mother is suffering from Covid-19. This would violate guidelines issued by the Centre on treating Covid-19 patients and could lead to spread of coronavirus from pregnant women.
“Thousands of Chakmas were deleted from electoral rolls in 1995 and were never enrolled. Further, there is an unofficial ceiling on number of Chakmas during electoral revisions, which leads to many getting excluded. Obviously, there are hundreds of Chakmas who were not issued Voter ID cards and don’t have one,” Chakma said in a statement.