In an attempt to promote family planning and stabilise the fast-growing population, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has planned to come up with a new initiative.
According to a Times of India report, the state government will distribute ‘shagun’ to the newly wed couples through neighbourhood ASHA workers. The ‘shagun’ will be a kit promoting planning family planning message, compering condoms and oral contraceptive pills among other things.
The kit will also contain a letter from the health department that explains the nuances of family planning and importance of minimum time between two children and aims at stabilising population. To be rolled out under Mission Parivar Vikas, the scheme would be launched on World Population Day, July 11.
“The aim is to prepare newly wed couples about responsibilities of married life,” Times of India quoted Avneesh Saxena, project manager, Mission Parivar Vikas as saying.
The ‘shagun’ – ‘nayi pahal kit for newly weds’ – is a box containing packets of condoms, emergency contraceptive pills, general oral contraceptive pills, besides other items of use for the bride and groom.
“A pack of towels and handkerchief, nail-cutter, comb and mirror set that will come handy to both the groom and the bride,” added Avneesh.
He further explained that information brochures on family planning and spacing along with FAQs on various issues in simple language will also be a part of the kit.
However, data from the current National Family Health Survey suggests that authorities will have to work extensively to ensure that ASHAs communicate with the newly wed couples. NFHS-4 shows that just 12 per cent health workers ever talked to female non-users about family planning.