Overwhelming response to DTE investigation
Inresponsetoourcoverstory"Operationcover-up"(December16-31,2014)onthedeath of13womenduringasterilisationcampinChhattisgarh,wehavereceivedmanyletters, includingthosefromtheUnionhealthministerandthechairpersonoftheNational CommissionforWomen I appreciate the extensive research undertaken by your organisation on the issue related to sterilisation procedures, unhygienic conditions at the camps and violation of national guidelines on sterilisation. The issue related to the strengthening of primary healthcare infrastructure, including recruitment of trained doctors, surgeons and technical manpower, are also pertinent to be addressed. I would like to assure that my ministry would take steps to address all these issues on priority and in a time-bound manner to avoid such a tragedy that occurred in Chhattisgarh, in future. Aggrieved by the incident, the National Commission for Women (NCW) took immediate suo-motu cognisance and issued notice to the authorities to investigate and give action taken report. The state has given details of the legal actions initiated against the culprits. However, in a broader perspective, issues such as national population policy, alternate and safe options of family planning, strengthening of healthcare infrastructure especially for women—who are at the bottom of priority—in rural areas, need to be deliberated upon, with appropriate solutions and standard operating procedures put in place to avoid such incidents in future. In this regard, we shall explore the possibility of holding consultations in the coming months with various stakeholders, such as NGOs, state governments and MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), to arrive at concrete and implementable solutions. I look forward to your valuable suggestions and support.