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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Genitoplasty in Indore, MP govt asked to probe

Taking cognisance of a newspaper report about several hospitals and clinics in Indore performing surgeries on baby girls to change their sex, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the State government of Madhya Pradesh to undertake an investigation with a team of doctors, known for high professional competence and ethical standards.

Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.

This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old.

The procedure, called genitoplasty, is recommended only for those children whose internal organs don’t match their external genitalia (for instance, someone who has male internal organs but female genitals and female hormone).

Women's and children's rights campaigners denounced the practice as a 'social madness' that made a 'mockery of women in India.'

NCPCR has sought a detailed report within 15 days, giving facts, figures and circumstances of the cases, list of doctors/hospitals practising genitoplasty and action taken or contemplated against them.

It also wants to know the measures taken by the Madhya Pradesh government at the State/district and local level in terms of publicity/awareness campaign against the adverse effects of sex change operations as well as female foeticide and infanticide.

It has asked the government why measures to create awareness against preference for a male child have been ineffective.

Alerted by the newspaper report that hundreds of girl children in Indore are being operated on to turn them into boys, the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Madhya Pradesh health department on Sunday (27-June-2011) recommended measures to ensure that parents hankering for male children don’t exploit such ‘corrective’ surgeries with the help of corrupt doctors.

Genitoplasty experts of Indore say each of them have turned 200-300 girls into 'boys' so far. The low cost of surgery (Rs 1.5 lakh), relatively easy and unobtrusive ways of getting it done and vague laws are even attracting parents from Delhi and Mumbai.

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