A team comprising of Sarojini N, Jashodhara Das Gupta, Vaibhao Ambhore and Sulakshana Nandi undertook a fact finding in Bilaspur following the deaths of the 13 women and the critical condition of the 70 other women in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh, after laparoscopic sterilisation procedures were performed on them.
In India, sterilization particularly tubectomy has been vigorously promoted and pushed by the state through centrally- decided targets and implemented on mass scale through a camp approach, largely disregarding other currently available methods. Sterilization constitutes 75 per cent of India’s total contraceptive use.
The team’s visit to Bilaspur was preceded by the reports of the incident from JSA Chhattissgarh members. A meeting among concerned health activists and researchers was held in Delhi to plan a follow up action and a fact finding visit to Bilaspur was planned. During the visit, the team met with the family members of the deceased women as well as those undergoing treatment. Interactions were carried out with healthcare providers and government officials, and also meetings were held with local organisations. The team visited the concerned health facilities and documented its observations. The fact finding visit revealed several medical, systemic, administrative and ethical issues.