Delhi played it safe on New Year’s Eve. But made contraceptive makers happy in the process. With an average 20 per cent increase in numbers, the last week of December was when condom sales peaked for any single week in the year.
HT City spoke to chemists across the Capital and most of them confirmed that Dilliwallahs bought more condoms than usual in the last days of December. “The last four days of the year had the highest sales. We sold approximately 100 packets a day,” said Yashpal Gulati of Gulati Medical in Shahdara.
For condoms, the week between Christmas and New Year is usually the busiest. In a 2008 report, TT Raghunathan, executive vice-chairman of TTK Healthcare, which makes brands such as Durex, Kohinoor and Fiesta and sells 1.5 billion pieces annually, had said, “A good portion of the 3 billion pieces sold each year comes from this week, and a very good portion of that from the last day of the year.” “Every year we do expect some rise in the sales at this time. Surprisingly, by the end we had more than 45 per cent increase,” adds Gulati.
And while this may shock some who see it as a rise in promiscuity, for others it is also a sign of responsible and safe sexual activity. “The youngsters are no more shy. Our usual sales of 5-6 packets a day, saw a 10-15 per cent rise on yearend,” says Vipin Kumar of Batra Medical in Karol Bagh. “Condom sales had seen a five per cent increase last year in the wake of the National AIDS Control Organisation’s (NACO) safe sex campaign. This time the sales in December went up by about 15-20 per cent. We also sold more number of emergency contraceptive pills during this period,” says Pradeep from Sweekar Medicos in Dwarka. “Increased awareness has led to a rise in the demand for condoms, contraceptive pills, and also morning-after pills. We mostly have men in age group of 15-30 years asking for these,” says Usman of Friends Medicos on Barakhamba Road.