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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

NHRC imposes Rs 1-lakh fine on Odisha government for forced vasectomy on tribal youth

Health officials of Mathili sub-divisional hospital (SDH) in Malkangiri district of Odisha had performed a vasectomy on one divyang (dumb) unmarried youth Ganga Durua from the Scheduled Tribe community, for the sake of highlighting increased cases of vasectomies in the area

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 04.03.24, 07:20 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Ganga Durua, a speech-impaired unmarried tribal youth who was subjected to a vasectomy — family-planning surgery — forcibly without following due procedure.

It also asked the state government to ensure the recanalisation operation of the victim after obtaining his consent.

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Issuing an order on the issue on March 1st, 2024, the NHRC said: “Recanalization be done after taking consent from him, and as per due procedure etc.”

Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy told The Telegraph: “Based on my petition, the NHRC passed the order after receiving reports from the state government.”

In his petition, Tripathy alleged that health officials of Mathili sub-divisional hospital (SDH) in Malkangiri district of Odisha had performed a vasectomy on August 3, 2023, on one divyang (dumb) unmarried youth Ganga Durua, a tribal from Scheduled Tribe community lying well below the poverty line, for the sake of highlighting increased cases of vasectomies in the area.

Tripathy said: “The operation was carried out on the basis of an Asha worker’s report but without taking any consent of the victim. Later I urged the NHRC for impartial investigation of the case and compensation and justice to the victim.”

Later during the investigation, it came to light that even the compensation amount of Rs 2,000 was not paid to the beneficiary.

“The operating surgeon has been issued showcause notice by the CDM (chief district medical officer) and PHO (public health officer), Malkangiri, regarding lapse in determining eligibility and conducting the surgery without proper screening,” he said.

The NHRC issued a showcause notice to the chief secretary on the issue.

In reply to the showcause notice, the operating surgeon mentioned that the negligence had been done unknowingly by him. The recanalization of the NSV (no-scalpel vasectomy) needs to be done in the case of Ganga Durua after obtaining voluntary consent from him.

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