Maharashtra Government Steps Up Fight Against Female Foeticide

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Public Health Minister Dr. Tanaji Sawant, along with the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT), has launched new efforts to tackle female foeticide and improve the sex ratio in Maharashtra.

Now, instead of a separate helpline, the PCPNDT’s toll-free number (18002334475) has merged with the health department’s helpline (104), effective from February 22, 2024. This combined helpline operates 24/7, allowing people to report complaints and seek information about preventing female foeticide.

Complaints received through this helpline are quickly recorded and forwarded to relevant authorities like District Surgeons, Medical Superintendents, and the State Family Welfare Office in Pune. This aims to ensure swift action and enforce the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Selection) Act of 1994.

Confidentiality is a priority, with complainants having the option to remain anonymous. Even if they reveal their identity, it is kept confidential. Any complaints about violations of the PCPNDT Act lead to immediate investigation and legal action against offenders.

To encourage reporting, the government offers a reward of Rs. 1 Lakh for successful complaints.

Additionally, plans are in place to launch a dedicated website to simplify reporting and provide more resources on combating female foeticide.

Through these steps, Maharashtra aims to reduce female foeticide and promote gender equality.