Sunday, 20 May 2018 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Chief Secretary to pay a sum of Rs 14 lakh to 56 women, who had undergone sterilisation by cycle pump in a camp conducted in Angul district.

Presuming the State Government has no objection in payment of compensation to the victims as the Government failed to respond to the show-cause notice issued by the NHRC, the Commission has directed to pay Rs 25,000 each to the 56 victims.

The NHRC order came following a petition and subsequent submissions by civil rights lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy. He alleged that the doctors used bicycle pumps to inflate abdomen of 56 women while conducting laparoscopic tubectomy in the sterilisation camp.

This abominable phenomenon was witnessed due to lack of sophisticated surgical equipments used for inflating abdomen. Normally, insufflators are used in laparoscopic operation to pump carbon dioxide gas into the abdomen of women for regulating gas pressure during the operation.

Since insufflators are not available, the bicycle pumps are used as substitute. Rural women are being discriminated against the urban counterparts in sterilisation drive, Tripathy alleged.

In response, the detailed inquiry report of the Angul Chief District Medical Officer along with the statements of the 56 women with their names was submitted by the Health and Family Welfare Department Secretary. The report stated that on November 28, 2014, 56 women had undergone sterilisation operation in a camp at the Banarpal CHC but not a single complaint was lodged by the women.

However, Tripathy alleged though in the statements of 56 women they have not made any complaints, usage of bicycle pumps to inflate the abdomen of the victims while conducting laparoscopic tubectomy caused pain and risk and amounts to serious violation of human rights.

Therefore, by this abnormal act of usage of bicycle pumps to inflate the abdomen of these 56 hapless women, the lives of the women were put in danger and thereby their human rights were violated in the sterilisation camp, he alleged.

The NHRC held the State Government responsible for the violation of the human rights of these 56 women and directed the Chief Secretary to ensure the payment and submit the proof of payment within six weeks.