Male sterilisation rises for first time since Emergency | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Male sterilisation rises for first time since Emergency

Latest Health Ministry data from 593 districts in India records a 118 per cent increase in sterilisation of men in 2007-08 over the 2006-07 figures, reports Chetan Chauhan.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 24, 2008 01:12 IST
Chetan Chauhan

For the first time since the Emergency in the mid-1970s, male sterilisation is making something of a comeback. This birth-control method that could help check India’s rising population had declined in use after instances of forced sterilisation during the Emergency.

Latest Health Ministry data from 593 of the total 660 districts in India provided to the Planning Commission records a 118 per cent increase in sterilisation of men in 2007-08 over the 2006-07 figures.

Ever since the Emergency in 1975-77, the male sterilisation figure had been going down. About 30 per cent of married Indian men underwent this procedure at that time. The proportion went down to 0.9 per cent in 2004. The probable reason cited in official records was “excesses committed for male sterilisation in the 1970s”.

In 2007-08, those excesses were finally forgotten, and 1,47,802 lakh Indian men opted for sterilisation as compared to just 67,600 the previous year.

Elated at the reversal of trend, Shailaja Chandra, Executive Director of Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (Population Stabilisation Fund) said, “The taboo behind male sterilisation is fast fading”.

Money played a role in the change. In September 2007, the Health ministry increased financial incentives for sterilisation. Men opting for sterilisation got Rs 1,100 compared to Rs 600 for women. “We also provided an advance of Rs 15,000 to private surgeons to conduct sterilisation and a higher incentive for conducting more than 30 sterilisations in a day,” Chandra said.