Tuesday, June 20, 2006

IT and human life in India ...

The Telegraph's (UK) New Delhi correspondent, Peter Foster (who just returned from a trip to the Maldives. Yeah, he blogs. :)), writes about being a firang in Delhi, navigating bureaucracy (not Indian, this time), and the various ways in which the IT revolution can help India's vast masses. Including this:
Even the unborn stand to benefit. Scientists have estimated that the age-old preference for sons over daughters leads to 500,000 female foetuses being aborted every year. However, new software being developed for India's 28,565 ultra-sound clinics will record every woman's scan and the sex of her child.

By cross-referencing this data with birth records, those responsible for India's "lost" girls will be exposed at the click of a mouse.
¡Ojala! Though, this being India, I'm sure a few hundred rupee notes could convince an ultra-sound technician to "delete" an inconvenient file, even as the inconvenient child is "deleted."

2 comments:

Yasser said...

is this kind of abortion currently ilegal in India?

Gashwin said...

The ultra-sound test itself is, I believe, illegal, when done for the purpose solely of determining the sex of the child.

Abortions are pretty much legal in the first trimester and even later (though, again I'm not sure. I'm much more familiar with the US situation).