Believe it or not, to promote family planning at micro level, the Shivpuri District authorities in Madhya Pradesh have come up with a novel idea under which it is motivating men for vasectomy in return for a gun license!
Vasectomy, a surgical procedure in which the vasa deferentia of a man are cut to effect sterilization and put a halt to prospects of fathering more children.
Sterilisation is the most commonly used form of male contraception in India.
Adjacent to infamous Chambal valley, where keeping guns is related to one's prestige, the Shivpuri authorities have used this as a trump card to keep the population under control.
"The situation was worrisome. So, I spoke to representatives of the Health Department. Also I had a word with senior citizens of the area and formulated this idea to encourage men to undergo vasectomy. If they apply for license, they would be issued the license on priority. Over 150 people have so far undergone vasectomy in the last four months. It is the proof that people are coming forward," Manish Srivastav, Collector for the Shivpuri District in Madhya Pradesh.
"I have tried hard to get a license. Now, I have undergone vasectomy after which the Collector Sahab came and said that I would be issued a license," said Naresh Valmik, a local who underwent vasectomy.
The preference of men towards keeping a gun has prompted good response and the strategy has gone down well among males.
Efforts have paid off with the health department getting more and more applications from the locals showing interest in undergoing sterilisation.
Although population control in India through tubectomy for women and vasectomy for men have yet to gain popularity, the formula as being tried out in Shivpuri may find a lot takers, most importantly, in metropolitan cities.