Under instruction from India’s health ministry, police in nightlong crackdowns on 13thJuly, in Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, sealed 46 sex determination centers that detected and arranged for aborting female fetuses during early pregnancy.
Last week a surprise raid was conducted on Mayo Hospital, which had a signboard saying “Sex Determination Tests Available.” Sex determination tests are banned in India. Anil Kumar, an official who conducted raids said, “Raids on such centers and prosecution of those found violating sex-test-ban law will continue.”
The practice of getting rid of female fetus is rampant in the North-Central states of India, like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. This practice has been reducing sex ratio in every census conducted at intervals of 10 years.
The socio-economic tradition of India, in general, highly favors Male in all spheres of life and female fetuses are aborted to avoid dowry needed at the time of marrying a daughter and payment of gifts demanded by in-laws of the girl from time to time after marriage.
Males, on the other hand are preferred to boost the earnings of the family and to strengthen and spread family structure.
The female share of population has been decreasing with almost every census and is 927 females per 1000 males as per census of 2001. The ratio was about 980 females per 1000 males in the year 1900.
The other causes of low female share in population are early death of female child due to malnutrition, killing of new-born (prevalent in parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc). Deaths of females due to dowry and other tortures is also rampant in almost all parts of India and the ferocity of these incidents are such that almost every day post marital deaths are a news in any news paper.