A streetcar named Nano - for Rajasthan’s sterilisation drive

August 23rd, 2011 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Aug 23 (IANS) Will a Rs.1 lakh car prove to be a million-dollar idea? In an effort to get more people to undergo sterilisation, the authorities in two districts of Rajasthan are offering them a chance to win Tata Nano cars.

After Jhunjhunu introduced the scheme last month, it is now Pali district where one can get sterilised and drive away a Nano.

The medical and health department in Pali recently announced the scheme in which Nano cars will be offered on a lottery basis to people who get sterilised there.

“We have decided to give away two Nano cars, one on Oct 2 and the other April 7 next year, to those who get sterilised in government camps,” a senior district administration official told IANS.

Not only this, cash prizes and mobiles are also being offered.

“Men who get sterilised after the birth of one girl child are to get Rs.15,000, while the women will get Rs.10,000 for the same. This is to promote the birth of a girl child and to control the population rate at the same time,” said the officer.

“The scheme is likely to get a good response from people and we expect the rate of sterilisation to increase by a substantial margin in the days to come,” he added.

Earlier, on July 1, the medical and health department of Jhunjhunu, some 170 km from here, had announced the scheme for boosting sterilisation operations and curbing population growth.

The department offered people a chance to win a Tata Nano car, motorcycles and television sets, among other things.

“The response so far has been good and we hope to achieve our target,” a medical official in Jhunjhunu said.

He said on July 1 itself, over 1,625 sterilisation operations had been conducted.

“Our target is to achieve 21,000 operations by March 31, 2012,” the official added.

According to figures released by the latest census, Rajasthan has 883 girls between the ages of 0 and 6 for every 1,000 boys in the same age group. The child sex ratio in 2001 was 909.

The state’s medical and health department has set sterilisation targets for each district on the basis of the rate of population growth.

From April 2010 to February 2011, over 296,000 sterilisation operations were carried out in the state. This was 61.58 percent of the target set for fiscal 2010-11.

“I think it is a good scheme and such population control policies should be adopted by other states too,” said Rakesh Singh, a volunteer at a local NGO.

However, some activists had earlier alleged that the medical and health department and its agents were duping and luring poor men into undergoing sterilisation to meet annual targets on such surgeries.

Activists had said there were several complaints of men being sterilised after being taken to health centres by vasectomy agents under the pretext of medical check-ups.

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at anil.s@ians.in)

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