Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.
This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty. Each surgery costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
Moreover, these children are pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.
The low cost of surgery and the relatively easy and unobtrusive way of getting it done in this city attracts parents from Delhi and Mumbai to get their child surgically 'corrected'.
About 7-8% cases come from the metros, say doctors.
While genitoplasty is relatively common - it is used to correct genital abnormality in fully-grown patients - the procedure is allegedly being misused rampantly to promise parents a male child even though they have a female child.
The parents press for these surgeries despite being told by doctors that the 'converted' male would be infertile.
While genitoplasty experts of Indore say each of them have turned 200 to 300 girls into 'boys' so far, only one could cite an instance when a 14-year-old was converted into a girl.
In that case, ironically, medical complications strictly forbade converting the child to a boy. The doctors accept that parents willingly convert girls to boys but opt out of the opposite procedure.
If that's not bad enough, Indian law, which has encountered nothing like this so far, allows these surgeries by its silence and grey areas.
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