UP offers pregnant women Rs 1 lakh prize to expose prenatal sex determination centers
The payout will be in three instalments – first at the stage of a successful operation, second at the time of appearing before the court as a witness and third at the time of a conviction
As per the 2011 census, child sex ratio in Uttar Pradesh dropped to 902 females per 1,000 boy children from 916 in 2001. The drop has been continuing ever since, a senior UP government official told ET.
“The reducing child sex ratio in the state is a serious issue of worry. There is an urgent need to crack down on illegal activity of female foeticide and illegal sex determination,” UP’s principal secretary (health) Prashant Dwivedi said in a letter to all district magistrates on June 23, asking for roll-out of the “decoy operation” in the state from July 1 with the help of the National Health Mission.
A total of a Rs 2 lakh reward will be on offer – Rs 60,000 for an “informer” who tips the government of illegal activity going on at any of the diagnostic centres or hospitals, Rs 1 lakh for a pregnant woman who agrees to act as a “decoy” and Rs 40,000 for an associate accompanying the woman who would act as an “independent witness” – the associate can be the spouse or family member. The payout will be in three instalments – first at the stage of a successful operation, second at the time of appearing before the court as a witness and third at the time of a conviction.
Given the dangers involved in such an operation, the state government has said that it will make best efforts to keep secret the identity of the informer and the decoy women, and they will be referred to by certain codes in all legal documents. Any wilful misuse of the operation or false implication by the decoy patient or the informer could mean they could be put in a “blacklist”, the letter said.
UP has formed a committee at the state and district levels where informers and pregnant women desirous of joining such operations can register.
Other states with poor child sex ratios such as Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan have also been running such schemes and offer 40% of the total reward money to the pregnant women acting as decoys.
UP, however, has decided to offer 50% of the total reward money to the women in question. The overall child sex ratio (0-6 years) in India as per the 2011 census was 919, down from 927 in 2001. UP, with a child sex ratio of 902, is only ahead of states such as Punjab (846), Haryana (834), Rajasthan (888), Gujarat (890) and Delhi (871), as per the 2011 census. Rajasthan has claimed that as per its estimates, child sex ratio in the state has risen to 925 in 2015 while Haryana has said its sex ratio has risen to 950 till date.