Ministry asked to rename Asha condom, divert existing stock | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Ministry asked to rename Asha condom, divert existing stock

To save accredited social health activists or Asha workers the embarrassment of distributing free condoms carrying their name, the National Health Mission (NHM) director has asked Health Ministry to rebrand the contraceptive.

punjab Updated: Jul 13, 2016 00:13 IST
HT Correspondent
Asha condom — which the Asha workers are too embarrassed to distribute on behalf of the government.
Asha condom — which the Asha workers are too embarrassed to distribute on behalf of the government.(HT Photo)

To save accredited social health activists or Asha workers the embarrassment of distributing free condoms carrying their name, the National Health Mission (NHM) director has asked Health Ministry to rebrand the contraceptive.

“Asha condom’ made these door-to-door women campaigners a butt of indecent jokes in Punjab, so last month, they boycotted the drive. The product was called Deluxe but when fresh stock arrived in May, it had a new brand name and a more seductive package. Men started teasing the volunteers with remarks such as “Ek Asha dena (give me one Asha)”.

“We are not going to receive any more of these condoms,” NHM director Hussan Lal wrote to the ministry. “Whatever quantity remains, kindly divert to the other states.” There is no reply.

Asha workers are women in the age group of 25 to 45, qualified up to Class 10 preferably. Provided with knowledge and a medical kit to deliver firstcontact healthcare, every Asha (which in Hindi means hope) promotes community participation in public health programmes in her village.