Maharashtra: Helpline 104 Receives 10 Sex Determination Complaints Per Hour

Maharashtra: Helpline 104 Receives 10 Sex Determination Complaints Per Hour

Established in February 2022, the helpline has received 1,069 calls in the last five days alone, which means an average 214 complaints per day.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 10:04 PM IST
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Helpline | Pexels

Mumbai, February 28: The toll-free helpline 104, to address illegal sex determination and female foeticide complaints, receives 10 calls per hour. Established in February 2022, the helpline has received 1,069 calls in the last five days alone, which means an average 214 complaints per day related to violations of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. 

The helpline is an attempt to improve the state’s dipping sex ratio, which is yet to bounce back to the pre-pandemic levels. While the state recorded a sex ratio of 919 girls per 1,000 boys in 2019, it dropped to 904 girls per 1000 boys in 2022.

Department Struggling To Improve Numbers:

Despite incentives for those who can successfully help identify offenders, the department has been struggling to improve the numbers in Maharashtra. Such complaints were earlier addressed to a dedicated toll-free helpline 18002334475.

Dr Kailas Baviskar, deputy director of health services, said that all necessary training has been provided to the staff and the government has also planned to reward people who report incidents on the toll-free number. State health minister Dr Tanaji Sawant has also announced a reward of Rs1 lakh for identified and verified complaints.

“Work to launch a dedicated website that will make reporting easier and provide more resources and information to combat female foeticide is also underway,” he said.

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