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Sex Selection & PCPNDT Act

Strengthened Response to Addressing Sex Selection and Implementation of PC & PNDT Act through Enhanced Capacities of NGOs and Targeted Interventions in Indore District of Madhya Pradesh State

“Preference for the male child has been one of the most evident manifestations of Gender Discrimination in our society. With the advancement in medical science and technology, sex selection has moved from female infanticides to sex selective abortion or female feticide. Despite gain in education, longevity and income, large section of Indian society still consider daughters a liability and apparently make effort to stop down to any level in order to avert their birth.

The decline is unabated. Sensitization, monitoring, enforcement of law, social mobilization and strengthening of statutory bodies are important components which can bring the changes. MPVHA is extending the hands of administration and department of health for effective implementation of the act i.e. Pre Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC&PNDT) in the state to prevent female feticide and sex selective abortion”.


Child Sex Ratio (CSR) of Madhya Pradesh state dropped down to 9 points from 941 in 1991 Census to 932 in 2001 Census. CSR of 10 districts in the state was below 900. For Indore district CSR declined by 32 points from 940 in 1991 Census to 908 in 2001 Census. CSR for Indore city declined by 37 points from 934 in 1991 Census to 897 in 2001 Census. Indore city had highest number of registered Ultra Sono-Graphy (USG) clinics, i.e., 272 and CSR was 897 in 2001 Census. Decline is CSR directly associated with socio-economic development and easy access to prenatal sex determination techniques. Patriarchy, gender inequity, concept of son as an asset and girls are liability, easy access to USG clinics for prenatal sex determination were major reasons for comparative skewed CSR in most of the districts of the state.

MPVHA Efforts

To address the issue of sex selection the MPVHA, with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), carried out interventions in the state of Madhya Pradesh with a multipronged approach during the period 2008 to 2012.

MPVHA organized a state level consultation of about 100 NGOs in 2007, with support of UNFPA, in which it was observed that most of the NGOs had little knowledge and understanding on issues related to sex selection and PC & PNDT Act. During deliberations it was also observed that though the Government of Madhya Pradesh, through a notification, had appointed State Appropriate Authority and District Appropriate Authorities, there were several gaps: orientation of district administration, capacity building of members of District Advisory Board, conduct of regular meetings, activities to create mass awareness and to sensitize the medical community, vigilance and monitoring of USG clinics.

Thus the interventions by MPVHA were focused on:
At State level: Capacity building of NGO representatives of District Advisory Board to understand their roles and responsibilities and to advocate on the issue.

Specific to the 10 districts of Gwalior-Chambal region: Capacity building of partner NGOs to carry out communication and advocacy activities and monitoring of USG clinics.

Specific to Indore city: Targeted intervention in partnership with the District Appropriate Authority and partner NGOs for awareness and advocacy activities, capacity building of key stakeholders responsible for implementation of PC & PNDT Act, and to ensure strict implementation of Act including monitoring of USG clinics.

Immediate outputs

As a result of interventions made by MPVHA under the project a State PC & PNDT Advisory Committee was constituted. The District Advisory Boards on PC & PNDT were made functional. PC & PNDT Cells at district level were formed and nodal officers appointed to manage those. NGO representatives were inducted as members of District Advisory Board and in monitoring teams. The targeted interventions made in Indore were recognized as a ‘model’ by the State Government.

The monitoring team followed the protocol in letter and spirit. The planned and systematic approach adopted for monitoring yielded positive results. The District Appropriate Authority demonstrated the scope of its role by issuing show-cause notices, cash penalties, suspending licenses and registrations, sealing sonography machines and centres and also filing cases in the court of law.

Major Outcomes
  • Advisory Committee reorganized and strengthened in various districts of the state.
  • Monitoring team formed in various districts and monitoring started along with awareness activities.
  • The efforts have been institutionalized, strengthened and sustained by the department of health and administration till date.
Government Committees:
  • MPVHA is member of State Advisory Committee
  • Trained staff of MPVHA in district monitoring committee
  • MPVHA is formally used by the health department as a resource agency to train the law enforcers and nodal officers
  • State recognized the MPVHA work on 26th January (Independence Day) in terms of providing Government certificate of appreciation.