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Madhya Pradesh’s Congress govt withdraws Emergency-like ‘nasbandi’ order, removes officer who issued it

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Following a row, the Madhya Pradesh government on Friday withdrew a controversial order that made it compulsory for all male health workers in the state to bring at least one man for sterilisation. The order had clearly stated that the health workers should bring a man for nasbandi or get penalised.

The announcement was made by Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsi Silawat. The state government also removed National Health Mission (NHM) state director Chhavi Bharadwaj, who had issued the said order.

After the order triggered a controversy, state minister PC Sharma said the order was not new and similar directives were issued during the BJP government as well.

“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.

“This is routine order. Such orders were issued during BJP rule too. There is growing awareness these days among the people that a small family is a happy family. No worker will be put under pressure.”

What was the controversial sterilisation order?

In the order, the Congress government had made it clear to all health workers in the state that if they fail to bring at least one man for sterilisation, they could lose their jobs or salaries.

“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 sterilisation in the 2019-20 period,” the order issued in Hindi read. The order was signed by Chavi Bharadwaj.

“All male multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) should mobilise at least five to ten willing beneficiaries who will opt for sterilisation when camps are held in districts,” the order, issued on  February 11, stated.

“If the target is not achieved by February 20, then the proposals calling for compulsory retirement of MPHWs will be sent through District Collectors to the NHM headquarters in Bhopal,” it added.

The order brought back memories of the Emergency-era when a sterilisation drive was forced on people. At that time, the country was led by Congress government under then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

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