New Delhi, May 30 (EFE).- Officials in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh were red faced on Tuesday over a local government initiative to distribute contraceptives inside a gift kit at a mass wedding ceremony.
“Shamelessness at its peak(…) The BJP government of Madhya Pradesh has distributed condoms and contraceptive tablets in make-up boxes given,” the opposition Congress party tweeted, criticizing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The gifts were distributed at a mass wedding, organized by the regional government of the state of Madhya Pradesh for underprivileged sections.
Contraceptives were found inside the gift bag presented to the nearly 300 couples in the ceremony, held in the town of Thandla, Madhya Pradesh.
Besides birth control pills and condoms, the box included a hair comb and a pack of “bindi,” or a traditional decorative spot worn on the forehead by many women in India.
Bhursingh Rawat, a district official, on Tuesday attempted to shift the responsibility for the incident on to the regional health department, saying that the event’s direct organizers were not aware of the contents of the boxes.
“We are not responsible for distributing the condoms and the contraceptive pills. It is possible that the health department gave away the material as part of its family planning awareness program,” said Rawat, according to local media reports.
According to official information, under the government program, created in 2006, 49,000 rupees (about $600 dollars) is given to the bride, and another 6,000 rupees is spent on the mass wedding ceremony.
The objective of this program is to provide financial assistance to girls, widows, or women abandoned after marriage, who live below the poverty line. EFE