The Odisha government will distribute ‘free kits’ containing condoms and contraceptive pills to newly-married couples in the state. A central government’s initiative, Mission Parivar Vikas, is aimed at motivating couples to adopt proper family planning.
Called ‘Nayi Pahal’ or ‘Nabadampati’ kit, it will be distributed by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers and will also carry brochures, guidelines and other important literature on the importance of safe sex, family planning and spacing out births.
Contents of the ‘wedding kit’
The wedding kit will contain a booklet on methods and benefits of family planning, a marriage registration form, condoms, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), and emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs).
This apart, the special gift pack will also contain a home pregnancy testing kit along with a bride grooming materials, including towels, handkerchief, comb, bindi, nail cutter, and mirror among others.
“The ASHAs will visit the houses where the wedding is taking place and gift the kit. They, besides briefing the newlyweds about the spacing and limiting methods, will also keep a close watch on the benefit of the kit. They will get incentives,” Dr Panigrahy added as quoted by The New Indian Express.
Aim of the initiative
Health and family welfare director Bijay Panigrahi said the state government will distribute the kit to strengthen the family planning programme in the state.
The health department will create awareness among the newlyweds regarding the family planning programme through the scheme, he said, adding, the scheme would be implemented in both rural and urban areas of the state.
First state to launch initiative
According to State Mission Director of NHM Shalini Pandit, Odisha is the first State to launch the initiative despite having a low total fertility rate (TFR).
The total fertility rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. The TFR of Odisha is 1.8 against the national average of two, reported The New Indian Express.
Representational Image/ Unsplash
Apart from the contact details of ASHA, ANM, and local health workers, the wedding kit may have a congratulatory message for marriage from the Chief Minister, sources said.
The scheme would be rolled out in the state in September this year, sources said.