Ban on condom ads: Experts in Mumbai call move regressive, will write to Centre

Terming the I&B ministry’s notification regressive, experts said curbs will affect India’s fight against sexually transmitted diseases
erming the I&B ministry’s notification regressive, experts said the curbs will affect India’s fight against sexually transmitted diseases.(HT File Photo)
erming the I&B ministry’s notification regressive, experts said the curbs will affect India’s fight against sexually transmitted diseases.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Dec 13, 2017 10:39 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | BySadaguru Pandit, Mumbai

A day after the Union information and broadcasting ministry banned telecast of condom advertisements during prime-time hours, health care and medical experts have decided to write to the Centre to ease the restrictions.

Terming the I&B ministry’s notification regressive, experts said the curbs will affect India’s fight against sexually transmitted diseases. 

In a recent advisory, the ministry has directed all television channels to not telecast condom advertisements between 6am and 10pm to prevent children from being exposed to indecent and inappropriate content. 

“It has been brought to the notice of (I&B ministry) that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children,” the notification read. 

The move has attracted ire from child psychiatrists, healthcare workers and advertisement professionals who called it a “regressive method of functioning from right-wing politics”. 

Dr V Sam Prasad, country programme director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an organisation of health workers in 38 countries, said they are set to start a dialogue with the ministry to remove the curbs. 

“Being the third largest country with HIV infections, condom is the single most effective tool to prevent an array of sexually transmitted diseases. Awareness for a young country like India, which is vulnerable to HIV and STD infections, is a must no matter in which form, because we have to consider the bigger picture,” said Dr Prasad. 

He added that AHF, after discussing the matter with other similar organisations, will write a letter to remove the restriction. “We will start a dialogue through letter and will not rest until the restriction is removed,” Dr Prasad added. 

“It (the advisory) is a primitive method of regulating behaviour of children who are not only sexually active at the age of 14 but have access to information easily than their older generations,” said child psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty.

The advertisements and indirect awareness has resulted in a rise of condom usage and decrease in unwanted pregnancies and sexual violence. Putting a ban on the content is similar to banning advertisements of helmets or raincoats in a particular period. There is no scientific explanation to the move,” Dr Shetty added. 

Amaresh Godbole, managing director, DigitasLBi India a digital marketing firm who has worked on advertisement campaigns of popular condom brands in past, said that rather than banning a category, the government should ban the kind of content that is offensive to children. 

“I agree that children shouldn’t be exposed to indecent content but rather than censoring condom advertisements as a category, why not ban vulgar advertisements. Not all condom advertisements focus on sensuality, but at the same time there are advertisements of other products brands like soaps and tobacco which aren’t appropriate for children,” said Godbole. 

He added that condom advertisements should be encouraged as any measure that drives usage will help drive safe sex even if it’s not educational content.

BOX

Summary of National AIDS Control Programme’s budget and expenditure 2012-16. (figures in cr)

Description---Budget Estimate (BE)--Revised Estimate (RE)--Actual Expenditure

Supply of condoms --431.60 --346.16 ---381.97

IEC (Information Education and Communication) of condoms--- 75.00 ---50.79 ---43.17

Condoms other charges (Social Marketing) ---250.00 ---185.84 ---153.80

Total --- 756.60 ---582.79 ---578.94

(Statistics show underuse of allotted budget for condom intervention program )

No. of condoms distributed (in crore pieces)

Year: Target: Achieved

2012-13 --109.2 --85.19

2013-14--116.1-- 83.77

2014-15--123.3 --88

2015-16--129.7 --20.90*

2016-17--136.4 --nil

(Social marketing program closed in NACO during 2015- 16)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court (File)

    UP Govt withdraws controversial GO after lawyers’ protest

    The state government on Wednesday withdrew controversial government order (GO) in which district magistrates were directed to take action against errant lawyers in district courts. The order was withdrawn after the legal fraternity went on strike in 22 districts of the state in protest against “objectionable language” used in the order. The districts where lawyers went on strike included Meerut and Varanasi. The lawyers' strike has now been called off.

  • Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, deputy CM Dushyant Singh Chautala and top cop Kala Ramachandran at the roundtable conference in Gurugram on Wednesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

    Haryana government plans Dubai roundtable for Global City project

    Gurugram: The Haryana government plans to hold a roundtable in Dubai with top developers to invest in the Global City project. According to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Global City will be developed as the central business district of the entire national capital region. Khattar said that the government and its agencies are taking inputs from developers and suggestions regarding what should be the components of the Global City.

  • Ludhiana police are questioning the accused regarding their involvement in other highway robberies. (Representative image)

    Ludhiana: Gang of robbers busted with arrest of three

    Police arrested three men on Wednesday for robbing a taxi driver on National Highway-44 near Ladhowal on May 1. The accused have been identified as Ravidas, 23, Gurdeep Singh, 30, and all from Moga district, 24, Mandeep Singh. Additional deputy commissioner of police Ashwani Gotyal said the trio had approached the victim, Manjit Singh of Fazilka, who runs a taxi from Landran, posing as customers and asked him to take them to Ludhiana.

  • Noida, India-May 14, 2022: A view of Supertech Twin Tower, at Sector 93A, in Noida, India, on Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

    Noida to challenge apex court’s order limiting its say in bankruptcy proceedings

    A day after the Supreme Court declared Noida an operational creditor instead of a financial creditor in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the authority on Wednesday said it will challenge the order as it affects its financial interests and also limits its say in insolvency proceedings of debt-ridden companies.

  • HT Image

    Mayor, councillors to approach Haryana CM for action against MCG chief engineer

    Mayor Madhu Azad and all 35 councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram met on Wednesday to discuss a spat that ensued between the MCG chief engineer and a councillor on Tuesday. After the meeting, held at the civic body's Sector 34 office, the group decided to approach Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to intervene and act against Sharma. The chief engineer alleged that Brahm Yadav, councillor, Ward 13 threatened and hurled a chair towards him.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 19, 2022