The insensitive practice of Sterilisation ‘Drives’: A case from Bihar

The irresponsible and target driven practice of ‘sterilization camps’ in India have resulted into an incident which completely violated the women’s right to life as we witness in the case, Devika Biswas v. Union of India & Ors. [WP (C) 95/2012]In January, 2012, a sterilization camp was conducted in the Arharia district of Bihar sterilising 53 women within 2 hours in unhygienic and cruel conditions. This camp was organized in a government school by Jai Ambe Welfare Society and authorised by Bihar state.

The petition highlights the wrong practices employed by the state to achieve sterilization targets, which is discouraged by the Supreme Court and the National Population Policy 2000. It also brings about how sterilisation is viewed as a ‘population control and stabilisation measure’ by the healthcare personnel rather a way of safeguarding a woman’s reproductive rights. The petition sought monetary compensation, directions for safety of patients, guidelines for terms of operations etc.

The petition has reached the final stage of arguments and we are expecting positive orders which will uphold the state accountable and advance womens' reproductive autonomy.

Read on the case and the issue of sterilisation as a Coercive Population Measure in detail below:

Attached below is the status report filed in the Supreme Court in this case:

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