Who cares for women’s cause in this city?

Navi Mumbai has very low sex ratio as compared to the State and national figures although there has been no detection of any reported case of abortion post sex determination test.
As per the census of 2001, there are only 825 females per 1000 males in Navi Mumbai, which is very low as compared to national level of 933 women per 1000 males as well as the State’s 922 women per 1000 males.
To bring in a proper balance of sex ratio the central government had put a ban on sex detection and abortion of girl child. As per the NMMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deepak Paropkari, “There are around 110 private hospitals and diagnostic centres in the city. We regularly check up on them to ensure that no violation is being done. These inspections are carried out by our medical officials. Fortunately, not a single case of female infanticide has been detected which means that there is a possibility of rise in female population in the city”.
Just a year back the health committee from the Central Government had also conducted a special inspection which found that certain norms were not being followed by diagnostic centres and fertility clinics and they were directed to take needful steps.
Preeti Mandal of Socially Active Youth in Action informs, “Even if there has been no official detection, it does not mean that such activities have stopped. The number of surprise visits by concerned health officials need to be increased at the earliest”.
“It may seem upsetting but it’s true that in the city women are the most stressed and tortured. You get to hear of at least one suicide case every three weeks and you hardly get to hear of anyone being punished for pushing the women to take the drastic step. Sanjana Jadhav case had created a furore for a while and later what happened? Nothing,” she quips.
Definitely there is a special women cell opened by Police to deal with family problems and there are a few women oriented NGO’s too working around, but the city only pays lip service to the cause of women in distress. Sample this, around 12 years back under Police Commissioner Sudhakar Ambedkar, a women’s shelter named ‘Saavli’ was opened in coordination with an NGO. However as the commissioners kept on changing so was the use of the centre. When enquired with the Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol, he informs, “The place is still with the NGO. However, it’s not used as a shelter”.

—Jaspal Singh Naol

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