The National consultation held on 2nd May 2019.
Like-minded civil society organizations and experts across India working on the implementations PCPNDT act in various districts came together on 2nd May 7, 2019, for a national “Consultation on India’s Vanishing Girls Revisiting Civil Society Response against Sex Selection.” The consultation was co-organized by ADF India, Vanishing Girls, SRKPS, and Girls count.
The participants discussed the implementation of PCPNDT so far. They assessed the effectiveness of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme and other private initiatives to improve the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) and the related issue of sex-selective abortion, in India.
Are the current actions sufficient?
The speakers included Dr. Satish Agnihotri, IIT Bombay, Adv. Varsha Deshpande, Lekh Ladki Abiyan, Mrs. Dhanashree Brahme from UNFPA, Dr. Neelam Singh, CSB & NIMC member, Dr. Sabu George, petitioner under the PTPNDC act. In the pre-lunch session they share their views on whether the current actions will lead to actual changes in the SRB numbers for the girl-child in India in 2021? They urged the participants to:
- Re-ignite the fight for the cause
- To look into the issue beyond the data and get involved in affirmative action like promoting government supported pension-schemes for families who have brought-up girl child
- To find the right cause of finding the root-cause of the discrimination against the girl-child
- To recognize the social dimensions while implementing and practicing the statutes of the PCPNDT law by the medical fraternity.
Future course of action for PCPNDT act
In the post lunch session future course – of – action was discussed. After hearing the participants from different states, the participants agreed upon;
- To increase the outreach actions of the activists and agencies
- To pursue matters related to the implementation of the PCPNDT law through litigation
- To acquaint the central government about the lack of action taken at the state and local levels in the implementation of the discussed law.
- To make the law-makers aware of the new issues like surrogacy – tourism and related pre-conception diagnostics that violate the PCPNDT’s guidelines.
Anushree Bernard, Campaign Coordinator of Vanishing Girls – an initiative of ADF India stressing for the urgent need of strict implementation of PCPNDT, shared her view on the consolation: “Our country has lost millions of women and girls due to the practice of sex selective abortions in the past decades. Every girl has the right to be born and denying her of this right is the worst form of discrimination against women and girls. It is very encouraging to see that like-minded civil society organizations have come together to join hands to stop the killing of girls inside their mothers wombs by advocating and working towards the effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act.”