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20 Apr 2021, Edition - 2107, Tuesday

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India News

Madhya Pradesh govt does a U-turn, withdraws sterilisation circular after backlash



Following an uproar over its controversial order, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to withdraw the circular sent to its male health staff to bring at least one man for sterilisation or face salary cuts and compulsory retirement.

Madhya Pradesh government spokesperson PC Sharma told India Today on Friday that the sterilisation circular is being taken back.

The Kamal Nath-government in Madhya Pradesh had in February issued orders to its male health staff to bring at least one man for sterilisation by the end of March or lose job.

The circular was sent to increase the participation of men in its family planning programme and was issued by the Madhya Pradesh’s National Health Mission (NHM) to achieve the sterilisation target for 2019-20.

Citing a report that the number of men opting for sterilisation had come down in the state, the Madhya Pradesh government had warned those male multi-purpose health workers who failed to get even one man sterilised in 2019-20 of salary cuts and voluntary retirement.

The Indian Express had 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 report, the NHM Mission Director had 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 was to end next month.

The circulars added that names of those who failed to meet the target would be recommended for compulsory retirement. 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, had earlier said they hadn’t asked the use of coercive methods to achieve the target.

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