With ensuing elections, both the Congress-led Delhi government and the BJP-led MCD are taking credit for even the smallest development work in the city. The latest one relates to condom vending machines.
Both the sides are saying that they are going to set up 2,000 condom vending machines all over the city to promote “population stabilisation”.
While Delhi government officials are claiming that Delhi State AIDS Control Society is going to set up these machines in association with NACO and central government, the MCD claims they are the ones responsible for implementing the project.
“We are soon going to run 30 Mobile Integrated Testing and Wellness Access vans in the city. These vans will be used for voluntary HIV tests,” said a government official.
On the other hand, MCD standing committee chairman Vijender Gupta claimed that the civic agency has a direct agreement with NACO and the state government has no role to play.
“If Delhi government is claiming that they are going to handle the project, it merely shows their non-serious attitude. This is a publicity stunt,” said Gupta. He said installation of these machines would start from Monday onwards.
People would be able to buy two condoms for Rs 5. Each machine will have around 25 condoms and the cost of each vending machine is Rs 6,000. Delhi government has 110 condom vending machines all over the city, but Gupta says these are all in “bad state”. “Our machines will be much better,” he added.
“In view of shyness, inhibition and social taboo associated with condoms, majority of the sexually active population feel embarrassed and hesitate to go to chemist shops. As a result, they often resort to unsafe and unprotected sex,” he said.
The fact remains that as per Behavioural Surveillance Survey 2006, only 42 per cent men all across the country use condoms during intercourse with non-regular partners as compared to 68.7 per cent men in Delhi. No only this, only six per cent of women use condoms for family planning in the country compared to 24 per cent women in Delhi according to National Family Health Survey.
Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) would install these machines. Installation, maintenance and refilling of machines would be the responsibility of the trust.