The Maharashtra government will be taking a number of steps in the near future, including installing a device in the sonography machines, as it looks to curb female foeticide in the state.
The sex ration in the state has been consistently widening with the latest figures revealing that there are 922 females per 1,000 males while the number of females is lower in some of the regions in the state.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan discussed the problem with Health Minister Suresh Shetty before confirming that the state government will pass a legislation which will make it mandatory for hospitals and clinics to install a device in their sonography machines which will record vital information such as sex of the child and whether the women went on to have the baby or opted for abortion.
Though the hospitals have protested against the decision, with the device costing an extra Rs 28,000, the health minister said that they can afford to install the devices. "If they can buy machines worth more than Rs five lakh, then they can spend Rs 28,000 on this important device as well. We will focus on districts where the rate of female infanticide is high. The official campaign will start in a week's time", Shetty said.