BHOPAL, 15 JUNE: The Madhya Pradesh government’s much-hyped Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana appears to be running into controversies with allegations of pregnancy tests being carried out on tribal would-be-brides during two such mass wedding programmes in just a week.
According to sources, almost 40 tribal girls were allegedly subjected to pregnancy tests on 12 June, a day before the mass wedding function organised by the state government at Bajak village in Dindori district.
In a similar incident, charges were levelled against the Betul district authorities for carrying out pregnancy tests on nine tribal girls at a similar function about a week ago. However, a subsequent inquiry by the district administration into the Betul incident has found there were any such tests. Nonetheless, in the recent incident at Dindori, at least seven of the nearly 40 women who were tested were turned away from the mass wedding after their respective urine samples tested positive and they were found pregnant.
The Bajak Community Health Centre (CHC) Medical Officer, Dr Rupum N Mitra, admitted the women were made to undergo pregnancy tests. "Urine samples were collected and about seven girls were found to be pregnant," he said.
Dr Mitra reasoned that the tests were carried out because, as the name suggests, the scheme is only for unmarried girls and not married women or those who are pregnant.
Jabalpur Divisional Commissioner Deepak Khandekar said he had received a complaint on the matter on Friday and had ordered an inquiry.
Dindori Collector Raghuraj M R said he had sought a report on the incident. "I would be in a position to comment on the alleged tests only after getting the report," the collector said. He claimed that he had been informed that the tests were meant to determine age. Dindori MLA Omkar Singh Markam said the tests amounted to humiliation of women.