In order to improve the sex ratio and protect the ‘right to life’ of the female foetus in Odisha, the state government has issued guidelines for the widespread implementation of the Informant Protsahan Yojana. Shalini Pandit, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, said, “Determination of fetal sex and sex selection is the misuse of available technology and is one of the main reasons for the decline in sex ratio.”
The Health Secretary said, “Information from public sources will go a long way in preventing this. Hence, simple guidelines to the District Collectors and enforcement officers for thorough implementation of the PC and PNDT Act across the State. have been issued.”
As per the guidelines, a cash prize of Rs 25,000 will be given in three installments after the information received from the informer about illegal sex determination is confirmed. The informant will be given Rs 10,000 on confirmation of the information, Rs 10,000 after framing of charges against the accused and filing of the prosecution report and finally Rs 5,000 if charges are proved against the accused in the court.
Pandit also said that the district administration has been asked to create awareness among the community to ensure active participation of people in the scheme.
“There will be a separate confidential file and complaint register at the district level. The districts will also set up a reliable informer network for timely dissemination of information related to sex determination,” he said.
“There will be a phone number for complaints and an officer will be designated for the purpose. On receipt of information and complaints, the concerned officers will conduct fact-finding visits with the help of district task force members,” Pandit said, quoting the guidelines.
Official statistics state that the child sex ratio is unfavorable to girls. As per the report, National Family Health Survey-5 (conducted between 2019 and 2021) the sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Odisha is 894. “In this context, it is felt that people’s information and community participation will intensify enforcement and curb the abominable practice of sex selection,” Pandit said.
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Story first published: Saturday, November 12, 2022, 16:25 [IST]