‘Sex Determination’ Tests Are Still Rampant In Hyderabad

Invisible crimes such as female foetocide, illegal sex
determination and abandonment of infant girls continue to be
perpetrated and are yet to be addressed.

Last week, an infant girl was killed by stray dogs in
Vanasthalipuram after she was abandoned by her parents. While it
certainly was not the first case of dogs attacking infants in the
city, it also was not the same with the girl child being abandoned
by her parents. Mostly, babies are dumped in garbage bins.

“I cannot forget this one case some years ago, wherein a woman
left her infant in the middle of the road to be run over by
vehicles. When we asked her later why she did that, the mother
told me that she did not want the girl to go through a hard life
just as her”, recalled Jamila Nishat, who runs the Shaheen
Resource Centre for women in the Old City.

While abandoning infant girls is one issue, sex determination
still prevails in the city and across the state in spite of it
being illegal.

S Anuradha, coordinator of Action Aide, an NGO, explained that in
the four districts of Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Anantapur and
Warangal where they conducted a study and found that people come
all the way to Hyderabad just for an abortion, due to better
medical facilities in the city.

“In the city, Bandlaguda and Charminar mandals are the two areas
where sex determination is done more. While there is a perception
that it is higher among the Muslim communities, it is however
prevalent across the city”, she stated.

She further added that when she asked people from the four
districts as to why they resort to such things, the most common
reply was that girls are considered to be a burden on the family
since they will leave after marriage.

“Also, families want heirs, so they prefer boys. Moreover, they
are also worried about how much dowry they will end up paying
during marriage”, ascertained Anuradha.

She pointed out that Hyderabad’s sex ratio is only 914 girls for
every 1,000 boys, which is lower than the state’s 939. “In the
districts, now there are also mobile scanning machines. Moreover
in government health care centres, the main perpetrators of sex
determination are the regional medical practitioners (RMP)”, she

When contacted, A Narendrudu, district medical health officer
(DMHO), Hyderabad, informed that each month about 20-30 decoy
operations are carried out across the city to ensure that
fertility centres do not reveal the sex of the unborn child. He
said that they engage in sting operations to identify the
violating clinics and added that carrying out such operations in
the Old City is not easy due to objections from