In order to change the mind-set of people towards the girl child, a doctor in Ahmednagar decided to waive off hospital charges if a girl is born in his hospital.
Dr Jagdish Bharadiya who will be inaugurating his 13 bed hospital on Sunday, said, this is his first step in bringing about awareness on the need of saving a girl child.
“We have observed that in interiors of Maharashtra, parents are worried of expenses of hospital when a girl child is born. I therefore decided to waive off hospital charges in case a girl child is born through normal delivery. I also decided to charge only 50% of the C-section cost for a girl child,” said Bharadiya, who completed his MBBS from Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
Two weeks ago, Maharashtra was shaken with the horrifying news of 19 aborted female foetuses found dumped near a stream at a village in Sangli district.
“The recent incident of Sangli is shameful. To eradicate such illegal and unethical practices we need to change the mind-set of this society. Instead of urban cities we should focus on rural parts of our country. My decision as a doctor of not charging anything to save girl child is just a small step towards this change,” said Dr Bharadiya.
Appreciating Bharadiya’s decision, the doctor’s fraternity said there is need for many more Bharadiya’s to wipe off the female foeticide problem in India. “Birth of a girl child in our society is still not welcomed, especially in rural India and in lower economic class. A boy is still preferred as parents think in old age, the boy will take care of them,” said Dr Shivkumar Utture, treasurer, Indian Medical Association- Maharashtra.
He added that IMA is in the process to have a unique project to save girl child wherein girl child can be given free treatment or at concessional rates. “We will be asking our doctors to either give free treatment to girl child or give concession. It is observed that many parents avoid medical treatment for girl child because of expenses,” said Utture.
While the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) survey shows that the child sex ratio has improved from 914 to 919 at the national level, doctors say there needs to be amendment in the PCPNDT (Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostics Technique) Act. “If a doctor is caught in helping people in child sex determination, both the patient’s relative and doctor needs to be punished. It will act as a deterrent factor for other people. There is an urgent need to change the mind-set of people by educating the society on girl child if we want to save girl child,” said Dr Bipin Pandit, vice president, The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI).