India’s Ingenuous Condom Usage

While India plans a six-fold increase in spend­ing to tack­le AIDS, it is des­per­ate­ly search­ing for its own Mr. Con­dom:

Mechai Vira­vaidya, a for­mer Cab­i­net min­is­ter in Thai­land, emerged as an AIDS-fight­ing cru­sad­er in the ‘90s with an aggres­sive cam­paign to dis­trib­ute con­doms and edu­cate the Thai pub­lic about HIV, help­ing to sig­nif­i­cant­ly cut that country’s infec­tion rate.

K. Sujatha Rao, the head of India’s Nation­al AIDS Con­trol Pro­gram told The Times of India news­pa­per, that India needs a sim­i­lar fig­ure.

We are very seri­ous about find­ing India’s very own Mr. Con­dom. He has to have a dynam­ic per­son­al­i­ty to change both gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy and pub­lic per­cep­tions about HIV, AIDS, sex and con­doms,” Rao said.

In Thai­land, Mechai’s award-win­ning cam­paign­ing includ­ed vis­it­ing noto­ri­ous nightspots to hand out con­doms and hold­ing con­tests to see who could blow con­dom-shaped bal­loons the fastest.

How­ev­er, such antics may not work in India, because peo­ple are not only using con­doms for bal­loons, but also for var­i­ous ingen­u­ous pur­pos­es already:

Of the 891 mil­lion con­doms meant to be hand­ed out free, most were used by road con­trac­tors, who mixed them with con­crete and tar to cre­ate a smooth sur­face.

Health activists said mil­lions of con­doms were melt­ed down for their latex and made into toys. Oth­ers were dyed and sold as bal­loons.

In rur­al areas, vil­lagers used them as water con­tain­ers. India’s sol­diers cov­ered their gun bar­rels with con­doms as pro­tec­tion against dust.

Only a quar­ter of about 1.5 bil­lion con­doms made each year were “prop­er­ly utilised”.

If this con­tin­ues, the six-fold increase in spend­ing will just go up as hot air in a con­dom-bal­loon.

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  • Hi Mahen­dra,

    You might recog­nise from my respons­es to KA’s blog ‘Jil­pa & Jal­sa’.

    Here’s let­ting you know I admire the pro­fun­di­ty of most of your posts.

    I have tak­en the lib­er­ty of link­ing this post on Mr.Condom to a new post I have on his restau­rant.

  • Hi Soundar, wel­come! Yes, I rec­og­nize you now…:-)

    I’m not sure what you mean by pro­fun­di­ty, but thanks for the appre­ci­a­tion!

    You’re free to link to any of not just mine, but any posts in the blogosphere…linking is what we’re all here for any­way! And thanks for the write­up on Cab­bages and Con­doms, it was a nice read.