Bhopal, February 21: Drawing flak for the controversial sterilisation target set by the National Health Mission (NHM), the Madhya Pradesh government removed the official who issued the contentious order. The Kamal Nath government, in order to contain the criticism, decided to remove NHM state director Chhavi Bhardwaj. Sterilisation Target Issued to Madhya Pradesh Govt Health Staff, Told to Bring At Least One Man For Vasectomy or Lose Job.
The reprimanded official had issue an order informing the male multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) that they would be sacked on failing to bring even one man for the sterilisation programme in the financial year 2019-20. With only a month remaining for the year to end, the order created panic among the health workers.
Update by ANI
Madhya Pradesh: IAS Chhavi Bhardwaj has been posted as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at state secretariat. https://t.co/7VY8HywGJ1
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2020
The mandatory targets were issued to the health workers through a circular dated February 11. The MPWHs were told that if they fail to bring even one person for vasectomy before the end of current fiscal, they would be "compulsorily retired" after being identified as "zero output" workers. The order claimed that the department is authorised to take such action against after applying the "no work no pay" norm.
The order drew reminiscence with a similar directive issued during the Emergency years, when health workers went into an overdrive in several parts of the nation to get men sterilised. Reacting to the criticism, state cabinet minister PC Sharma said the family planning programme was underway during the erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government as well.
"This is routine order. Such orders were issued during BJP rule too.There is growing awareness these days among people that small family is happy family. No worker will be put under pressure," Sharma told reporters. As per the data available, 9,957 vasectomies were carried out in 2015-16 -- which dropped sharply to 3,397 so far in the year 2019-20.