Yogi Adityanath government to roll out a new family planning scheme in Uttar Pradesh

Free condom boxes at strategic locations in cities and villages, a kit for newly-wed couples with packs of condoms, emergency contraceptive pills and a pregnancy testing kit, and saas-bahu sammelans are Uttar Pradesh government’s latest tools to drive home the message of family planning in its post populous districts. 

The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to roll out a new central family planning scheme, ‘Mission Parivar Vikas’ in UP, which his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav ignored despite the centre’s directions last November.

On November 10, the union health ministry had written to seven states, seeking family planning intervention to address maternal and infant mortalities. It said 145 high-fertility districts in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam with total fertility rate (TFR) of 3 and above account for 28% of India’s population and 30% of maternal deaths and nearly 50% of infant deaths.

The scheme targets 145 districts in the seven states which have a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3 and over- implying a woman on average bears three or more children here. UP has the highest – 57 of its 75 districts – under the scheme. UP as a whole has a 3.3 TFR and contributes most to India’s high population growth. 
“It is directed that the scheme, which as per the centre’s direction was to be started from November 10, 2016, will stand initiated from the date of this order,” UP’s additional chief secretary, Arun Kumar Sinha, said in an order issued on April 24. The order has been sent to DMs and chief medical officers of 57 districts. 

The scheme aims to bring down TFR in these districts to 2.1 by 2025. In UP, 11 districts have TFR above 4 including Bahraich and Balrampur at 4.8 and Siddharthnagar at 4.9.

Among the districts with low fertility rates, and hence out of the scheme’s purview, are Varanasi (TFR 2.3), Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi, and the CM’s Gorakhpur (TFR 2.7). Urban districts like Kanpur, Noida, Ghaziabad and Lucknow also have low fertility rates. 
The new scheme includes measures like a family planning kit for newly-weds in rural areas worth Rs 220 – which will include two packs of three condoms, a marriage registration form, five contraceptive pills and two pregnancy test kits. Free condom boxes will be put up at strategic locations like health facilities and gram panchayat bhawans.

A new contraceptive injection is being rolled out, where women opting for it will be paid an incentive of Rs 100 per shot.

Nearly 47,000 nurses and Asha workers would be trained to give these injectables. Financial incentives for those undergoing sterilisation procedures like tubectomy and vasectomy have been hiked under the scheme by 50% to Rs 2000 and Rs 3000.

Saas-bahu sammelans are planned for rural areas to facilitate improved communication between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law through interactive games and exercises to bring about change in attitudes.