State Launches Site, Helpline to Bolster Girl Child Campaign
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12 July 2011
By, Sandeep Ashar
The state government on Monday reiterated its stand that it would not permit standalone sonography units to function in the state. State health minister Suresh Shetty indicated that the state was in no mood to budge, despite protests and a strike call made by radiologists and sonography centres.
Speaking during the launch of a government website and a helpline to promote the campaign against female infanticide at the Y B Chavan Auditorium, Shetty said the government would only permit sonography units that employed a permanent radiologist.
“There are a number of centres which employ consultants. This will not be permitted,” he said. “Let them call a strike for a day or six months. We won’t permit standalone sonography units to function.” He indicated that all necessary amendments in norms will be made to stop the practice. The state has started cracking down on centres involved in prenatal sex determination.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who presided over the function, also supported the “carrot and stick” approach. Conceding that the declining child sex ratio was a matter of grave concern, Chavan advocated a three-pronged approach to counter the crime. One, the CM is for promoting awareness on saving the girl child by taking up education and counselling drives. Two, he called for stern action against those violating the ban. “The fear has to set in among violators that a wrong step would prove costly for their career,” he said. Three, an attempt must be made by one and all to “celebrate the girl child”, said Chavan.
The CM, though, remained largely non-committal on the use of the silent observer scheme employed in Kolhapur, requiring installation of a device to permit data collection and review as third party. “Certain concerns regarding privacy issues have come up,” he said.
On the occasion, a website – www.amchimulgi.gov.in – was launched and will be available to the public from August 1. It permits registration of complaints, either anonymously or otherwise, against prenatal sex determination. The site has been developed with UNFPA.
Chavan also inaugurated a helpline – 1800-233-4475 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1800-233-4475 end_of_the_skype_highlighting – which was immediately activated, for counselling and complaint registration. Actor Sachin Pilgaonkar and wife Supriya were inducted as brand ambassadors for the Save the Girl Child Campaign.