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Festival shoots up sex drive!

Attribute it to a rush of libido, a rise in licentiousness, or both. In Pune, as Ganeshotsav draws closer, there is a spurt in the demand for, hold your breath, condoms.

tabloid Updated: Aug 28, 2006 12:23 IST

Attribute it to a rush of libido, a rise in licentiousness, or both. In Pune, as Ganeshotsav draws closer, there is a spurt in the demand for, hold your breath, condoms.

The numbers are staggering. In the normal course, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) distributes six lakh free condoms every month. But during the Ganesh festivities, which lasts for about a fortnight, there is a demand for over 10 lakh condoms. If you add the sales figures of contraceptives at private chemist shops, the total is anybody’s guess.

Mauli Narhare, president, Pune Chemists’ Association, said “they had not carried out any scientific study” but the sale of condoms is “definitely much higher during the festival”.

The rise in demand has been such that PMC health chief Dr P.S. Dhaigude is worried. The civic body has launched a “safe sex” drive in the city. A poster at a condom-selling outlet declares: “Practise safe sex, avoid AIDS, use condoms”.

Mona, a sex worker in Pune’s red light area, said visitors had nearly doubled as the festival season set in. Tamanna, a brothel owner, said they had to change their schedule due to the rush of customers.

So why is Pune on a sex overdrive?

Meena Kurlekar of the NGO Vanchit Vikas gives two reasons. First, there is a temporary migration of sex workers to make the best of the festival.

Second, young couples, away from the prying eyes of their parents and out to enjoy the salubrious weather of Maharashtra’s cultural capital, flock to the city.

The phenomenon bears shades of Mumbai’s Navratri festivities. It is an open secret that, amid the dandiya dances, there is increased sexual activity among young Gujaratis.

What Navratri does to Gujaratis, Ganeshotsav does to Puneites.