NEW DELHI: For the first time since Adam bit into Eve’s apple, men will have to share the burden of family planning in India. The Centre is coming up with a policy document to push for males opting for sterilisation.
With women constituting 98 per cent of the sterilised population in India, the National Policy for Women approved by a Group of Ministers under Sushma Swaraj aims to bring out a scheme or guidelines to counsel and persuade men to contribute equally in family planning.
Once cleared, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will have the onus to reach out to men through lucrative incentives and publicity methods to increase vasectomy numbers. An equal share of men and women in family planning is also very close to the heart of Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi.
“Being a sensitive issue and not much talked about in the last three decades, the government has now decided to include it as part of a policy document. It will be the responsibility of primary health centres to involve men for family planning methods,” said a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The number of men getting sterilised has been falling constantly in the last two decades. The National Family Health Survey 2015 puts the number of male sterilisation at only 1.9 per cent. This is despite the fact that male sterilisation is simpler compared to women, but the age old apathy of men becoming weak after surgery and losing sexual prowess continues.
The policy has been prepared after 15 years and an exhaustive exercise, including crowd sourcing of 15,000 ideas.
The policy also talks about providing Aadhar-linked women health cards to all women, which will ensure free annual health checkups, especially for cancer.