The one and only Condom Bar which dispensed free condoms as well
as paid ones has been barred from even showing condoms and been converted into
a bar with a village theme by red-faced administrators,
The bar was the brainchild of the now retired, senior Punjab-cadre IAS officer Jasbir Singh
Bir, who was then managing director of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism
Development Corporation (CITCO), a semi-government corporation, and inaugurated
by Pooja Thakur, an AIDs patient.
Within 4 months the Condom Bar reached peak sales and liquor
sales rose with the combination of free condoms, making it a successful venture
despite initial trepidation. Men coming to the bar started picking the free
condoms, and even the paid ones. Though not in large numbers, female condoms
were also being taken away from the bar by women.
When it was launched, the theme was decorated with real
condoms in different colors and varieties all over the place, even on the
furniture and the liquor bottles. Now, the condoms at the bar have been removed
along with all paraphernalia associated with the condom theme.
An upset Bir told IANS: "I feel sad that the unique condom concept has
been taken off. This is a regressive step. When the condom bar opened, we had
enquiries from all over the world as other countries and local authorities
wanted to replicate the concept in their cities. The concept was appreciated by
the union health ministry, UN organizations and international media."
Sources in CITCO, however, revealed that the management and the Chandigarh administration
officials were "too ashamed" of the condom theme and hence got it