By Alka Dhupkar, Mumbai Mirror | Updated: Mar 17, 2017, 10.13 AM IST
When a six-month pregnant Pragati Jadhav-Patil walked out of a shady scanning centre in Malegaon after undergoing a sex determination test in 2013, she was a proud woman. The 34-year-old journalist was furthering a social cause.
Pragati, mother of a three-year-old girl, felt prouder on Wednesday when a local court sent the doctor and his brother to jail for three years for carrying out the illegal test. Pragati had posed as a decoy client to expose the wrongdoing.
The court convicted Dr Sumit Deore and his radiologist brother Dr Abhijit Deore under the Pre-Conception & Pre – Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT), a law brought out to check illegal sex tests, which aid female foeticides.
“My efforts made an impact and I am glad that I could save some lives by participating in the sting operation,” said Pragati, who and her husband Shailendra, a journalist too, work in Satara district.
Pragati was a part of an initiative by advocate Varsha Deshpande who has so far carried out nearly 50 sting operations on unscrupulous doctors offering to reveal the sex of unborn babies through her non-profit Lek Ladaki Abhiyan.
“I readily agreed to pose as a decoy customer as I have been covering this issue for many years and wanted to contribute as a woman,” said Pragati.
Among the many feathers in the NGO’s cap is the sensational 2010 Beed case involving Dr Sudam and Dr Saraswati Munde.
“In the old act, women used to be made an accused. That has been amended in the new law and it has given us the power to expose these doctors who are doing sex determination tests and illegal abortions.”
Sharvari Tupkar, wife of Ravikant Tupkar, chairman of Maharashtra State Textiles Corporation, was involved in three sting operations – in Thane, Rasayani and Panvel – during her first pregnancy in 2011. The couple are parents to a five-year-old girl and expecting their second child.
Pragati Jadhav-Patil posed as a decoy in 2013 when she was six months pregnant
“In all three cases, the doctors easily disclosed the baby’s sex and offered to do abortion at cheap rates. I recorded everything. The cases are going on, but I think we have nailed them.”
The NGO said it takes affidavits from the women who come forward to join their efforts in saving the girl child.
Kailas Jadhav, 39, a coordinator at Lek Ladaki Abhiyan, has posed as a father in many exposes. “I have done short films and a documentary. I sing for the movement. I have acted as a father who is under family pressure to have a son and is ready to kill the unborn daughter. We have done it with the support of appropriate authorities.”
Kailas Jadhav posed as husband of a pregnant woman in a sting operation
Akhil Bhartiya Janwadi Mahila Sanghtana and Tathapi is another NGO that has contributed immensely to the cause. The organisation had done a sting in the heart of Pune at gynaecologist Dr Makarand Ranade’s hospital. Dr Ranade died, but a case against his associates is still on.
Social workers Prajakta Usha Vinayak and her husband Achyut Borgaonkar posed as a couple for the NGO. “Dr Ranade sent us to his friend’s clinic for the sonography and he advised her to arrange an abortion on the outskirts of Pune. I wish we had seen him getting punished.”