Sunday, August 19, 2007

Vernacular dailies pulling NRIs home for sex tests

Charan Gill of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society in Surrey, British Columbia (BC), told media that two vernacular newspapers published out of Chandigarh and Vancouver were brazenly carrying advertisements of ultrasound clinics for sex determination in BC that promoted female foeticide. These newspapers are distributed across Canada and are very popular within the Punjabi community. "It's disgusting to see that some newspapers carry such advertisements for profit. They ought to know these lead to foeticide and skewing of the female-male population of Punjabis in Canada," said Gill. According to him, an Ottawa-based family rights group's statistics suggests that abortions targeting female foetuses are taking place in BC's Indo-Canadian community. He said the study conducted showed only 100 girls to 108 boys, a definite trend towards a gender imbalance going by earlier figures. NRIs who visit India for these tests are either visiting home for a long duration, or are poor and cannot afford abortions abroad. In some cases, they come from countries where abortion isn't encouraged because of Roman Catholicism. Abortion for sex selection is banned in India since 1994.