Pune: In the Fight Against Female Feticide, Maharashtra Introduces 104 Toll-Free Helpline, Rs One Lakh Reward For Information

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Pune, 26th February 2024: In a significant move to curb female feticide and boost the sex ratio, the Maharashtra State Government, under the guidance of Public Health Minister Prof. Dr. Tanaji Sawant, has launched a toll-free helpline, 104. This round-the-clock helpline aims to register complaints and address concerns related to female feticide in the state.

The initiative aligns with the efforts to effectively implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, along with the amended Act of 2003. The toll-free helpline, operational since 22nd February 2024, has already registered 1,069 complaints by February 2024, with 1,064 of them successfully redressed through the State Family Welfare Office in Pune.

Previously, the PCPNDT toll-free helpline was available at 18002334475. With the recent integration, it is now included in the health department’s helpline number 104, making it easily accessible to the public 24/7. Both helpline numbers will continue to register complaints related to Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT).

Complaints received through this helpline will be documented by the helpline staff and forwarded daily to the relevant authorities, including the District Surgeon, Medical Superintendent, Medical Officer Municipal Corporation (for urban areas), and the State Family Welfare Office in Pune. Officers manning the Health Department Helpline No. 104 underwent training on February 23, conducted by Deputy Director Health Services Dr. Rekha Gaikwad and Assistant Director Dr. Rajshree Dhavale, focusing on the nature of PCPNDT complaints.

राज्यातील स्त्री भ्रूण हत्या रोखण्यासाठी आणि तक्रार नोंदविण्यासाठी आता १०४ टोल फ्री हेल्पलाईन

The process ensures confidentiality for complainants. However, if the complainant wishes, they can register their name. Under the PCPNDT Act, the complaint will be processed, and legal action will be taken against those involved in sex determination. Successful implementation of a complaint leading to the prevention of female feticide may earn the complainant a reward of Rs one lakh, a measure endorsed by Health Minister Prof. Dr. Sawant.

Additionally, the Department of Health has announced the upcoming launch of a new website dedicated to preventing female feticide.