I was pleased to see that CNN-IBN, an Indian media network, has awarded Dr. Mitu Khurana one of its Citizen Journalist awards. The prize, which recognises ‘ordinary’ (i.e. those who are not journalists) Indians who have exposed or campaigned for something, such as a disabled passenger who secretly filmed people refusing to get up from the disabled seats for him. Dr. Mitu’s citation reads:
Citizen Journalist, Dr. Mitu Khurana, is a Delhi based pediatrician. She is the first woman to have filed a case under the PC-PNDT act against her husband and in laws. She also filed a case against a Delhi based hospital and the doctor who did an ultra sound on her to determine the sex of her twins fetuses. Mitu’s in-laws who wanted her to undergo an abortion tortured, her. She endured the abuse and harassment. She gave premature birth to twin girls. Her ordeal didn’t end there. Mitu’s attempts over 3 years to get her husband to accept the girls failed. Instead, she was thrown out of the house, so that her husband could marry again. Mitu is now trying to fight the case under the PCPNDT Act that clearly states that hospital and doctors should neither conduct sex determination tests nor disclose the sex of the fetuses. She turned CJ to create awareness about the Pre conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection¬) Act that bans sex determination tests in India.
We have been following her case for some time on Pickled Politics (see here, here and here). Dr. Mitu is now engaged in a custody battle with her ex-husband, who is using the threat of losing her daughters as a way to pressure her into dropping the case against him, his relatives and the official bodies. She has been repeatedly maligned by the previous judge, other officials and her former in-laws, so it is heartening to see that this brave woman, who is challenging the culture of aborting female babies en masse, is receiving more recognition.
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Disability,Media