Has Satyamev Jayate forced state governments to take female foeticide seriously? It seems so. Yesterday Aamir Khan met Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to discuss the female foeticide situation in the state and convinced him see if the infanticide cases could be fast-tracked in special court. In MP, 65 MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) licenses were suspended because they hadn’t submitted the necessary documents.
Today the Rajasthan government cancelled licenses of six sonography centres and issued notices to 24 others for their suspected involvement in female foeticide and for violating laws, officials said. The action seems another impact of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s debut TV show “Satyamev Jayate”, as the action came a day after the superstar met state Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Gehlot Wednesday assured Aamir Khan, whose episode on female foeticide has created a storm, that he will take up the issue of setting up a fast track court with the state chief justice. ”Chief minister had met state officials to know more about the extent of the problem immediately after the show was aired Sunday. As per the instructions issued directly from him, we have started cracking down on faulty sonography centres where illegal sex determination tests were conducted,” a senior medical and health department officer told IANS, preferring anonymity.
He added that these centres were found violating the provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal and Diagnostic (PCPNDT) Act, 1994. ”Every centre is required to submit records of the sonography tests every month to the district’s chief medical and health officer under the PCPNDT Act. However, these centres were found violating this law,” the officer said. ”Licenses of six sonography centres have been cancelled while notices seeking an explanation have been issued to 24 other centres. If these centres do not send a satisfactory explanation, their licenses also will be cancelled,” said the officer. In his show, Aamir Khan highlighted the story of a sting operation done seven years back by two Jaipur journalists to expose increasing female foeticide cases in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The sting by Meena Sharma and Shripal Shakhawat had covered 140 doctors involved in sex determination tests and abortions. None of the doctors has been penalized.
Aamir Khan said in his show that he would appeal to the Rajasthan chief minister to get the cases against the erring doctors clubbed together and try them in a fast track court. He also urged the viewers to support his signature campaign. According to Census 2011, Rajasthan now has 883 girls between the ages of 0-6 for every 1,000 boys. The child sex ratio in 2001 was 909. Alarmed over the skewed sex ratio, the state government recently announced steps to curb pre-natal sex determination tests at ultrasound clinics.