A Right to Information query has revealed that women still continue to bear the burden of contraception in Mumbai. Out of the 22,681 people who opted for permanentsterilization in 2012–13,93%(or 21,062) were women. Only 1,619 men volunteered to undergo vasectomy.
Vasectomy is considered riskfree and has zero failure rate, while tubectomy entails risks and has failure possibility. Still, only 2,000 men on average choose vasectomy every year as opposed to 21,000 women who opt for tubectomy.
This is despite the government presenting incentives to men. An amount of Rs 1,451 is offered to men who go through vasectomy and Rs 200 to those who motivate them to undergo it.
The data released in response to the RTI query filed by Chetan Kothari shows this incentive managed to push up vasectomy figures to 4,661 in 2008–09 from 1,076 the previous year. But the success did not sustain as the numbers dipped to 3,927 in 2009–10, then to 2,082, and then to 1,619.
"Women bear the responsibility of child birth. Men can at least participate in contraception," said Dr Rekha Davar, head of gynaecology department at JJ Hospital. On the risks attached with tubectomy, she said: "Women’s fallopian tubes are deep seated in the abdomen and are between vital organs. So, even if very low, chances of injury are there."
The civic body did manage to motivate more people by introducing non–scalpel vasectomy, which refers to a no–cut, no–stitch surgery. "Men still fear they will become weak physically or sexually. The fact is they can resume normal physical work on the same day," an official said.
Times of India
27 July 2013, Mumbai, India.