Desperate of a male child, many families in Haryana are apparently paying the price of indulging in sex-determination (SD) as unscrupulous service providers many a time don’t hesitate to give fake SD results in order to make a quick buck.

As number of doctors involved in SD racket is less, a good number of people contact quacks and tantriks (occultists) to fulfil their desire for a male child.

Out of the 23 first information reports (FIRs) — lodged in connection with violations of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act  in Gurugram between June 2015 and June 2017 — reviewed by The Statesman,  seven (30 per cent) are against quacks (five) and tantriks (two).

“It’s  (SD) a very good business. Unlicensed diagnostic centers run by quacks  can start operation by having an ultra sound machine for Rs 1.50 lakh or so.  China-made laptop sized ultra sound machines are also available illegally in the market. But as quacks lack the expertise a trained professional, they  give fake results in up to 40 per cent of cases and people end up aborting even the male child thinking it was female,” said an official, working with the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (BBBP) cell in Haryana Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

“But as the whole process is secret and illegal, their victims either get no idea of the cheating conducted with them and or even if they get to know, they fear coming forward as ultimately what they did is illegal in the first place,” he added. In some cases, quacks hire qualified radiologists.

Of the 506 FIRs filed against those indulging in SD since the launch of BBBP campaign in 2015, about 60 are against quacks for prescribing medicines guaranteeing a male child. “In Jagadhari and Kaithal, we caught Chinese sex-determination medicines.  Quacks were selling them as sure shot for a male child,” the official said.

A quack held in Uttar Pradesh told the raid team officials that he was helping the BBBP campaign as he doesn’t tell even a single woman that she was having a girl child. “Main ladki batata hi nahin kissi ko. (I don’t tell anyone that she was going to have a girl child),” an official quoted him as saying.

When it comes to ‘tantriks’, they make fool of the people by passing on stuff like black pepper and mustard seeds as sex-selection drugs.

Speaking to The Statesman, Additional Principal Secretary to the CM, Rakesh Gupta, said  besides doctors, there are mafia like people in the business of sex-determination “who do ultra sound with mobiles even”.

“But our campaign has exposed such people. Haryana raid teams are a terror not only in the state but also in western UP, Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan.  Our teams conduct raids wherever there is a Haryana connection to the SD,”   Gupta, who is  in-charge of the BBBP campaign in the CMO, added.