The half century old government condom brand, Nirodh is about to get a facelift. The brand, which is a black sheep in the male contraceptive market, will try to attract customers with beautiful models on its wrappers.
The condom, which till now has come in prosaic white and wordy wrappings, has fallen out of favor with people despite the fact that the government gives 65 million condoms free of cost as a part of its safe sex campaign.
Apart from the unromantic packing, the quality of the contraceptive is also not rated high by the users. All this is making the government brand lose out on the mammoth market of contraceptives in India which was worth 152 million in 2011 according to market gurus.
The government has decided to make the wrappings more colorful, with pictures of couples instead of long cautionary messages. But the government, at the same time, feels that the wrappings have to be attractive but not erotic.
Contraception is an extremely amorphous and misinterpreted medical phenomenon in a close knitted society like India’s. It turns out to be contentious especially when the person concerned is a teenager. Adhering to the scientific definition of contraception, the terminology encompasses the termination of pregnancy through variegated methods.
‘You need a contraceptive pill?’, ‘Will I gain weight if I gobble contraceptive pills?’, ‘Contraceptive pills might reduce my fertility,’ are some of the most talked of expressions when a woman weighs the chances of getting pregnant. This year’s Contraception Day aims at making people aware about the widely ‘accepted’ misnomers about contraception.
Wide opened eyes, strained brows and an awe struck expression are some of the unbefitting predispositions a woman- especially a teenage girl- might run into on demanding a contraceptive pill. The man standing behind the counter, despite being aware of her preconditions, wouldn’t fail to further discomfort her by reiterating the name of the contraceptive pill incessantly till a million eyebrows in the shop get raised.
“Kya chahiye (He shouts) I-Pill?Bhaiya isko I-Pill chahiye…this is what the man at the counter had to say when I asked for contraceptive pills,” retorted 20-year-old Sheereen Ahmad, a Delhi University student, while recollecting her horrid experience at a medical shop.
A condom in itself is a cock-a-hoop tale that titillates and excites teenagers. The idea of contraception often wanes amid the exhilaration related to the use of condoms. Often, due to the tickling, breathtaking condom advertisements sported on television, people tend to get wooed and misbegotten without being apprised of the main purport of the same.
More than a tool of contraception, condoms have boiled down to a form of amusement for many in India. “Wahi Sunny Leone wala ad na?” or “Dude have you ever seen a condom…let us buy one,” these are some of the most common expressions exemplifying the brouhaha over a poor condom.
The abortion laws in our country, further, shed light on the plight of contraception or adversities that a woman gets subjected to when they opt for an abortion. A teenager, who might have gotten pregnant, if opts for an abortion ends up getting subjected to a string of difficulties. First, rendering abortion services to a girl who hasn’t attained her adulthood depends upon the clinic she decides to take to; it is solely the discretion of the medical practitioner who might or might not let her terminate the fetus. Moreover, girls fearing societal ostracization, take to untoward sources in their attempt at terminating pregnancy.
The looming disarray regarding contraception needs to get obliterated. Sex education and spaces for open deliberation on the same are some of the most sought after requirements of the day. Mockery and over rated ideation of condoms or contraceptive pills might lead to disillusionment and subsequent escalation of untoward instances. Instead of blowing condoms and finding ourselves dumb struck; let’s just accept the fact that pregnancy isn’t an isolated condition best suited for a married woman. Let’s delve into the nuances of contraception and broaden our outlook regarding the same.