Sugarcane-cutting women labourers to undergo health check-ups: Maharashtra Government

The health check-ups for these women labourers will be conducted before and after the sugarcane cutting season

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After thousands of women labourers in Beed district of Maharashtra confessed to having undergone hysterectomy surgery, the state government has decided to make health check-ups compulsory. The women labourers earn their bread and butter by cutting sugarcane in the farms. 

According to a report published in Mumbai Mirror, the health check-ups for these women labourers will be conducted before and after the sugarcane cutting season. 

Moreover, the Maharashtra government has asked the private doctors to submit a monthly report documenting the hysterectomy surgeries carried out by them. This move comes after such surgeries were performed on women labourers on the false fear of cancer. 

Earlier in June, several women labourers came to Mumbai demanding justice and compensation after which the state government appointed a committee to submit a report on the issue. The women labourers had informed that they had to take loans for the hysterectomy surgeries. 

Even after the surgery, several women had complained that their health issue still remained and intensified for some. The committee headed by Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe, in its report, mentioned that the lack of awareness and medical counselling causing fear regarding cancer led to these operations.

The committee submitted the report to Maharashtra Health Minister Eknath Shinde after conducting a survey of the women labourers, doctors, sugar factories and others. Of the 82,000 women labourers, the committee found that 13,000 went through hysterectomy surgeries. 

Gorhe, who is also the Deputy President of Maharashtra legislative council, informed that child marriage, early motherhood and lack of nutrition leads to health issues like anemia among these women. The women labourers went to the private doctors as the government hospitals couldn’t provide them with the required facilities, added Gorhe.

Hysterectomy wasn’t the only solution to their problems. Given that the women were not given any counselling before the surgery, many of them still have health issues,” said Shiv Sena leader stating that they have asked the government to introduce modern technology in primary health care centres.

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Moreover, Gorhe said that if the women make direct complaints regarding the surgery along with the medical papers, the government will consider taking action against the private doctor who has performed the operation.

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