Buying condoms at the chemists’ can often be a source of embarrassment. Making things easier is the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, by planning to install 3,000 condom vending machines at movie theatres, malls, public toilets, markets, pubs and several other places in the city.
“This would be a good move by the civic body. I have always felt awkward about buying condoms at the chemist. Now, I will not have to get embarrassed anymore,” said a 31-year-old from Dadar.
Along with Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), the civic body will install these machines at hotels, bars and restaurants as well. The machines have been given free of cost by the National Aids Control Organisation.
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Kishore Gajbhiye said: “Installing these machines is part of the Mumbai District Aids Control Society’s programme to raise awareness among citizens about HIV/AIDS. The society that functions under the civic body works towards preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Anyone can put in a Rs 5 coin in these vending machines and get a condom.”
HLFPPT is in charge of monitoring and implementing the scheme, along with selecting appropriate sites and maintaining the machines. Tushar Deshmukh, the company’s manager of public-private partnerships, said: “The machines will be installed by the last week of June. Initially, we will put up 1,500 machines at civic premises like Sulabh public toilets and markets. In another couple of months, another 1,500 will be installed at malls, pubs, bars, restaurants and multiplexes. We are approaching them to seek permission for this social cause.”