By Kirrat Sachdeva:
Curiosity gets the best of us and so does all the subsequent guesswork! While the internet and your family can give you lists of signs and symptoms to ponder over whether you are expecting a boy or girl, or what the ideal family composition should be- it is another thing altogether to exercise your choice over the guesswork and all its probability.
In India, exercising this choice results in the loss of 6 lakh girls every year. A son is seen as breadwinner, heir and head of the family: features that reinforce the strong preference for sons. Misuse of technology has paved way for millions to make their preference a reality.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act was enacted in 1994 to counter the practice of gender biased sex selection and worsening trends in the child sex ratio. However, according to government data, over 1900 cases have been registered under this Act in the country but the conviction rates are extremely poor. As cheap and portable ultrasound machines find their way into the remotest parts of the country, the reflection of this preference cannot be ignored in these numbers: