Reported by Kshitish Ray
Bhubaneswar, Jul 28:
‘Operation Decoy’, a sting operation commissioned by Odisha Government’s Health Department to identify nursing homes that illegally determine gender of foetuses has been shelved after carrying out only one operation.
“Though the first and only operation carried out in Talcher town of Angul district was a success, the scheme had to be shelved due to lack of decoys. We are not able to find pregnant volunteers willing to take the risk of playing the decoy for our operation. Also, the money we offer for their work is negligible and this turns away most volunteers,” said a senior officer of the Health Department.
“What makes matters worse is lack of coordination between the department and the district level management. The mission was started in 2012 and the volunteers were trained by experts from other states. After the training, coordination at district level was also important. But lack of this coordination forcds us to drop it completely,” the officer added.
It may be noted that the Talcher operation carried out in 2012 did manage to find out that illegal sex determination was being carried out in the nursing home. A case was registered against it under PCPNDT act.
As per data provided by Health Department on their website, there are more than 700 nursing homes and clinics in the state. The department, however, has managed to raid only 54 of them and booked 20 of them for illegal practices. While Jharsuguda leads the tally with eight nursing homes, Nayagarh has five of them.
Dropping the operation at a time when nursing homes offering illegal sex determination tests are mushrooming in the state is only going to emboldens the racketeers. The department, however, takes refuge under lack of manpower.
‘We do not have enough personnel to carry out the operation. That is the reason, we have not been able to repeat it after 2012,” said Director of Health and Family Welfare Department Nirmala Dei.