2.55 crore girl children lost to infanticide in India
A study titled 'The State of the PC&PNDT Act: India's losing battle against female foeticide' by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) found statistics with regards to India's Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994. The findings of this report revealed that in the last 2 decades, India lost 2.55 crore girls to its battle against female foeticide.
The Asian Centre for Human Rights
An NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) is focused on promoting and protecting human rights in Asia. It holds its headquarters in New Delhi, India. The ACHR undertakes research and investigations, provides information about the same and carries out campaigns about both country and individual-related cases. India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan are some of ACHR's concentrated areas of functioning.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 was enacted by the Parliament of India in order to regulate the declining sex ratio in India which was caused by heinous crimes like female foeticide. This Act made prenatal sex determination a punishable offence.
Female foeticide in India
Abortion of a female foetus for cultural reasons dated back to centuries earlier is known as female foeticide. Sex-ratio of 103 to 107 males per 100 females is considered to be the norm; anything above it suggests female foeticide. Child sex ratio is significantly higher in Western and North-western states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir.
Child sex ratio
As per the 2011 census, the child sex ratio was 118 in Maharashtra, 120 in Haryana and 116 in Jammu & Kashmir.
Results of the study
The findings of the report revealed that in the 20 years between 1991 and 2001, India lost 13 lakh girls every year on an average due to female foeticide caused by sex-determination. Despite this figure, the rate of conviction under the PCPNDT Act was 1 out of 1,23,755 cases. Not a single case was registered in 17 states and 6 Union Territories.
States with prevalent female foeticide
According to data supplemented by the National Crime Records Bureau, between 2000 and 2015, Madhya Pradesh had 360 cases of registered foeticides, Rajasthan had 255, Punjab had 239, Maharashtra had 155 and Chhattisgarh and Haryana had 135 and 131 respectively.
Reasons for the failure of PCPNDT
Under-utilized funds, not maintaining details of patients, absence of inspection are some reasons for the inefficiency of the PCPNDT Act. The report claims that during the years 2010 to 2014, utilization of funds inadequately resulted in allocation of a mere Rs.7.09 crore against the predicted requirement of Rs.20.26 crore. Lack of registered medical practitioners and absence of procedural details were also cited as reasons.