Women in Uttar Pradesh are actively promoting the use of condoms to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Reason? India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 2.2 whereas UP’s TFR is 2.7. This was revealed in the recently released National Health Mission review mission report. Therefore, the work of these women is crucial.
One such role-model is Pushpa Devi. A resident of Mihinpurwa village of Bahraich in UP, she was happy when she became a mother of two. But then the 28-year-old had to face an unwanted pregnancy. After this, she convinced her husband to use condoms. She said, “it is perhaps the only purely non-invasive method”.
Mihinpurwa village is one of the most populated districts, having a total fertility rate of 4. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3 or more is considered to be. An ideal TFR stands somewhere at 2.1
Pushpa now lends a face to many women who are trying to convince their husbands to make use of condoms. According to the data from the district health office, there has been a rise in the demand for condoms from this particular block. Women themselves are buying condoms for their husbands and making their husbands use this contraceptive method to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Another such role model of the village is Seema. After her fourth pregnancy, Seema once fell unconscious. She hen met an ASHA worker. To take charge of her body and her health, she took up the challenge to convince her husband to use the condoms. She said, “None of us had to expose our bodies to any terminal procedures.. thanks to condoms.”
The health department data too reveals that the demand for condoms in Mihinpurwa village is about 12.3% whereas in some blocks like Tejwapur, about 15.2% condoms were being used.
Indeed, family planning is very important for a country like India, which accounts for about 17.74% of total world population. India was the first country in the world to establish a government family planning program way back in 1952, but people’s mindset needs to change. Let’s hope the UP women’s work in this regard is a gamechanger.