In a reminder of the Emergency days, the Kamal Nath-government in Madhya Pradesh has issued orders to its male health staff to bring at least one man for sterilisation by the end of March or face compulsory retirement.
The circular, supposedly aimed at increasing the participation of men in its family planning programme, was issued by the Madhya Pradesh’s National Health Mission (NHM) on February 11 to achieve the sterilisation target for 2019-20.
Citing a report that the number of men opting for sterilisation has come down in the state, the Madhya Pradesh government said those male multi-purpose health workers who fail to get even one man sterilised in 2019-20 will either have their salaries withheld or face voluntary retirement, The Indian Express has reported.
The newspaper report cited a report of the National Family Health Survey-4, as per which only 0.5 per cent men have opted for sterilisation in Madhya Pradesh.
Taking note of the NFH survey, the NHM Mission Director issued the circular, asking top officials to identify those workers who have “zero work output” and subsequently withhold their salaries if they don’t get at least one case in 2019-20, The Indian express said. The said period ends next month.
The circulars added that names of those who fail to meet the target will be recommended for compulsory retirement, the proposal of which will be forwarded to the health department for further action.
As per the family planning programme, the health workers are required to ensure the sterilisation of 5-10 men.
NHM Deputy Director Dr Pragya Tiwari, however, has said they haven’t asked the use of coercive methods to achieve the target.
“We are not saying you use coercive methods. We want them to strength advocacy. There are many who want to limit their family size but lack awareness. It’s their job. If you can’t motivate even one person in one full year it shows your work output. What’s the use of spending taxpayers’ money on salary?” Dr Pragya Tiwari was quoted as saying by the daily.