Affectionately regarded as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's 'third son', Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's government has issued an Emergency-like order to its male health staff to bring at least one man for sterilisation by March-end or face compulsory retirement.
According to an Indian Express report, the MP government said those male multi-purpose health staff members who fail to get at least one man sterilised will either have their salaries withheld or face voluntary retirement. This is reportedly due to the decrease in the number of men opting for sterilisation.
As per the National Family Health Survey-4, only 0.5 per cent men have opted for sterilisation in the state.
The National Health Mission (NHM) issued a circular on February 11 which aimed at increasing the participation of men in its family planning programme. According to the family planning programme, the workers are required to ensure the sterilisation of 5-10 men.
However, NHM Deputy Director Dr Pragya Tiwari said that they haven't asked the use of coercive methods to achieve the target.
She said, "We are not saying you use coercive methods. We want them to strength advocacy. There are many who want to limit their family size but lack awareness. It's their job. If you can't motivate even one person in one full year it shows your work output. What's the use of spending taxpayers' money on salary?"
Madhya Pradesh Minister PC Sharma welcomed the move. He said, "Earlier there was a saying 'Indira Gandhi ke do haath, Sanjay Gandhi aur Kamal Nath'. So our CM is the most visionary leader in the country. He is taking Madhya Pradesh on a new path of development and welfare."
Earlier on Thursday, Kamal Nath criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over unemployment and farmers issues, and even raised questions over the 2016 cross-LoC surgical strike.
Addressing an event here, Kamal Nath said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not talk about employment and farmers' welfare.
"I want to ask you, have you heard Modi ji talking about the youth in the last six-eight months? Did you hear (Prime Minister Modi) talking about farmers?" he said.