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Online drive against female foeticide

12 March 2009

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Fight-Back, an online gender justice campaign, is mobilising Indian medicos on their web-based platform to spread awareness on the shocking practice of female foeticide.

New Delhi: An online youth movement campaigning for gender justice and building public opinion against female foeticide has launched a new initiative to spread awareness among the medical fraternity against the social malaise.

Fight-Back, which was set up in 2008, has declared March 8 as the International Missing Women's Day to highlight the missing number of girl-children who fall victims to foeticide while they are in the womb.

female foeticide
Image credits: Google Images / Female foeticide

Estimates say that nearly two million girl-children are victims of foeticide in rural and urban India every year.

Fight-Back has brought 130 doctors on one platform to "condemn female foeticide" and to "issue a pledge" on March 8 that they will not abet illegal sex determination tests and aborting of female foetuses. The pledge was posted on the site of the organisation on March 8.

"Female foeticide is one of India's most shameful secrets and is supported by a nexus of doctors and affluent people. No one gets convicted, no one is jailed and the efforts to curb it are mostly cosmetic. It is rampant in progressive states like Punjab, Haryana and in several heartland states," Fight-Back founder Zubin Driver, creative head of Network 18 group, said from Mumbai.

"We are asking the Indian Medical Association to ban doctors who are found abetting female foeticide. We may even make a small TVC (television capsule) for positive action. We are planning a multi-pronged approach and doctors play a central role in curbing the practice because the first thing a couple does is to go the general physician for consultation in times of pregnancies," Driver said.

According to Driver, the laws monitoring female foeticide and illegal sex determination tests were useless because people in India have a disregard for such laws.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994, abortions may be carried out only if there is threat to the life of the mother, if a child could be born handicapped or if a child has been conceived as a result of rape.

The organisation has also been campaigning for introduction of fundamental duties of the constitution as a school module across India post the Mumbai attacks to build consensus against terrorism and foster a sense of patriotic spirit.

The article was originally published in IANS.

Source : The Hindu

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