'Ban on condom ads on television would undo decades of progress'

The Population Foundation Of India suggested that like in the film industry, advertisements can be graded by content and accordingly slotted for telecast instead of removing all advertisements.

Published: 17th December 2017 04:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2017 07:50 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The government order asking television channels not to air condom advertisement between 6am and 10pm is poised to undo decades of progress on sexual and reproductive health, health groups have said and advocated against such decisions.

The Population Foundation Of India suggested that like in the film industry, advertisements can be graded by content and accordingly slotted for telecast instead of removing all advertisements.

"While the Health Ministry is trying to push contraceptive use with specific focus on spacing methods for family planning, the advisory by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is poised to undo decades of progress on sexual and reproductive health," Poonam Muttreja, executive director, PFI, said.

The I&B ministry on December 11 issued an advisory to all television channels, asking them to restrict condom advertisement to late night between 10pm and 6am.

Muttreja said although only 5.6 per cent of men use condoms, they are one of the earliest and safest contraceptives that not only act as a spacing method, but also a barrier against HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases and infections.

Condoms also encourage men to take responsibility in family planning, she said.

Muttreja said the I&B ministry restriction is based on the need to protect children from "vulgar" content and prevent them from developing an interest in "unhealthy practices".

"Children today have access to various channels of media and information with a lot of content that we have no control over. What we need is a more sensitive approach without compromising on information and advocating for sexual and reproductive choice," she said.

If advertisements are a way to create demand for safe sex and family planning, then there is also a need to ensure that that demand is not stifled by restrictions, she said.

Other health groups said they are trying to bring together NGOs working in the field and trying to meet health ministry officials to discuss the issue.

V Sam Prasad, country programme director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said at a time when they are trying to popularise condom use, having a blanket ban has "no point".

"It took around 20 years to gain momentum on the issue.

We should openly talk about it. It is childish to have a blanket ban. A blanket ban should not be there. We are trying to talk to all the NGOs working in this field and get them together and trying to hold a meeting with the health ministry regarding the issue," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp