Madhya Pradesh: Condoms and Contraceptive Pills Found in Make-up Boxes at Mass Wedding Event

June 1, 2023, In an unexpected turn of events, condoms, and contraceptive pills were discovered inside make-up boxes that were distributed to brides at a mass wedding event in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district on Monday.

The event was organized as part of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah/Nikah Yojana, a scheme aimed at assisting women from economically weaker sections. A total of 296 couples were wedded under this scheme in Thandla.

The packets containing the contraceptives were included alongside the make-up boxes, which were intended to be gifts for the newlyweds. Senior district official Bhursingh Rawat attributed the distribution of condoms and contraceptive pills to the state health department. He suggested that health officials might have included them as part of an awareness program related to family planning.

Mr. Rawat clarified that the responsibility for distributing condoms and contraceptive pills did not fall under the purview of the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah/Nikah Yojana. Instead, the scheme focuses on providing financial support to the families involved. The government transfers ₹49,000 directly to the beneficiary’s bank account, while the responsibility of providing food, water, and a tent, amounting to ₹6,000, lies with the organizers.

The Madhya Pradesh government initiated the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah/Nikah Yojana in April 2006 to extend financial assistance for the weddings of women from economically weaker sections. As part of the scheme, the government provides ₹55,000 to the bride’s family to alleviate the financial burden associated with the wedding.

This incident follows a previous controversy surrounding the scheme. Last month, some brides were subjected to pregnancy tests during a mass wedding event in the Gadsarai area of Dindori. One bride tested positive for pregnancy, revealing that she had been cohabiting with her fiance before the wedding. The chief medical officer of Dindori had clarified that such tests are typically conducted to verify the age of the couple, screen for sickle cell anemia, and ensure their physical fitness.

The discovery of condoms and contraceptive pills in the make-up boxes at the recent mass wedding event has raised questions about the coordination and communication between various departments involved in executing the scheme. The state health department is expected to provide further clarification regarding their involvement in the distribution of these contraceptives and the underlying purpose behind it.

The incident underscores the need for better coordination and awareness within government initiatives, particularly those aimed at supporting marginalized sections of society. It is crucial for the government to ensure that such schemes are implemented in a manner that aligns with their intended objectives and maintains the dignity of the beneficiaries.


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