PATNA: Finally after a fortnight, Bihar's deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi came in record and admitted that around 17 lakh condoms were distributed among the migrant-labourers when they were discharged to go home after quarantine.
The state health department has started this in an innovative way to promote family planning among the millions of less-educated migrant labourers returning from other states and placed under institutional quarantine at blocks. "Family planning-related information were shared and kits containing contraceptives and condoms were gifted to the migrant-labourers after completing the mandatory 14 days of quarantine," Modi said.
Quoting figures, he said, "2.14 lakhs of condoms were distributed among those who were in quarantine at block level of centres in April while 15.39 lakhs of condoms were distributed in May." A total 17.53 lakhs of condoms were distributed among those who remained in the 14 days of mandatory institutional quarantine in the state.
He said that the fertility rate in Bihar has reduced from 4.3 to 3.2 in the last one decade because of women education and an all out efforts taken to encourage education for girls by the state government.
Besides all this, he said, "Around 11 lakhs emergency anti pregnancy pills were also also distributed among the interested couples by the health workers during the door to door screening and the institutional quarantine periods."
He appealed to the migrant-labourers in particular that contraceptives including condoms were available at all PHCs of the state in ample quantity and anyone feeling urgency of these items can approach the PHCs. According to official figures,13.85 lakhs of migrant-labourers and others have completed the 14 days of institutional quarantine while rests are completing.
He claimed that the state government has spent a sum of Rs 5300 on each of those quarantined in addition to providing cash Rs 1000 and other items like utensils, clothes, soaps, carpets, mosquito nets and other things of daily use.