MP Government Revokes Controversial Sterilisation Order Amid "Emergency" Taunts
The Madhya Pradesh government withdrew a controversial order that made it mandatory for male health workers in the state to bring at least one man for sterilization.
A government circular warning of salary cuts and compulsory retirement on failure to meet the sterilization targets sparked huge controversy.
The opposition plunging into the situation targeted Chief Minister Kamal Nath with references to the 1975 Emergency when Sanjay Gandhi, son of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, launched a "gruesome campaign" to forcefully sterilize men.
"Officials in the district should identify workers with zero work output and apply the 'no work, no pay' principle if, they have failed to get one male person for sterilization in the 2019-20 period," the order issued in Hindi read.
As per the family planning program, the health workers are required to ensure the sterilization of 5-10 men.
It has been alleged that the order was circulated on the basis of a report by the National Health Mission of Madhya Pradesh which mentioned that the state was falling short of sterilization targets. The report of the National Family Health Survey-4 stated that only 0.5 per cent of men have opted for sterilization in Madhya Pradesh
The order further warned that if health workers failed to mobilize even one person to go for sterilization, they could face a no work, no pay deal or could be forced to retire.
After the order emerged in several media reports, it was withdrawn by the state government and action against the officer who issued the controversial order has been initiated.
MP Health Minister Tulsi Silawat said, "No one will be forced to be sterilized. No one is losing jobs and we are just spreading awareness. I will not let anything which can hurt you happen."
The order was signed by National Health Mission (NHM), Madhya Pradesh, Mission Co-ordinator, Chhavi Bharadwaj.