Ranchi, March 15: Family planning is slowly gaining acceptance among minority communities.
Statistics released by the Jharkhand chapter of National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) showed men belonging to minority communities were no longer shying away from going under the scalpel.
Estimates available with NHRM point to an upward surge in number of males coming forward to undergo vasectomy. And interestingly, areas like Ratu, Namkum, Ormanjhi and Kanke, traditionally known to be minority-dominated areas, have witnessed good numbers, which according to NHRM officials, signal a change in the mindset of the communities.
“As compared to last year, the number of males from the minority community coming forward for vasectomy operations has seen a steady rise, primarily in the rural belt. Though we do not have formal records to prove this as we don’t have religion-based registrations, we estimate each camp has seen a hike of 25-30 per cent,” said Aradhna Patnaik, state director of NRHM.
She added areas like Ratu, Kanta Toli and Namkum, among others, had seen at least 10-12 males from the minority community opting for the procedure. Last year, camps saw only three to five men arrive.
Patnaik said the realisation that a small family was a happy family, had led men to come forward. “A family’s lifestyle is directly proportional to its size. Realisation has slowly crept in that a small family was the only way to break the poverty cycle,” she said.
Simple techniques used for vasectomy, which needs no injection or hospitalisation, had contributed to making people realise how easy birth control was. Incentive for men undergoing vasectomy was Rs 1,100 compared to Rs 600 for women.
“There is no point in increasing numbers if you can’t provide for them,” reasoned Salim Alam, a resident of Naya Sarai, who underwent vasectomy four months ago.
Not everyone agrees with Alam.
Seher-e-Kazi of Jharkhand, Kazi Jaan-e-Muhammad said Islam forbade birth control through external means. “If people are so concerned, they should control themselves. Bringing about artificial changes bodily is against Islam,” he said.