Rajya Sabha members across parties today expressed concern over the use of medicines by couples in their quest for a male child, leading to defective genitals in children born.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, BJP MP Vinay P Sahasrabuddhe said due to the use of such medicines from quacks, the children born with "ambiguous genitalia" are often often abandoned or handed over to the "hijra" (transgender) community.
"The mindset regarding preference for a son lead many married couples to hunt for medicines they believe would ensure the birth of a male child.
"This often leads to indiscriminate use of bhasma (ashes), powders and herbs...That can result in miscarriages, babies with birth defect, babies with ambiguous genitalia or even maternal deaths," Sahasrabuddhe said.
He said that according to unofficial estimates, out of 100 babies born with genital deformity, only three are due to natural disorder and the rest due to the use of medicines consumed to "ensure the birth of a male child".
The BJP member further said babies born with genital deformities are often abandoned by the families in dustbins or handed over the hijra community.
Members cutting across party lines associated with the issue.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked the government to take serious note of it. Health Minister J P Nadda said the government will look into it.
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