in Delhi: RTI reply

Sidhartha Dutta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 11, 2014

Sterilisation of women in Delhi was close to thirteen times more than men in 2013-14, the reply to an RTI application has found.

According to the RTI reply, only 1,401 men were sterilised in Delhi as against 17,773 women last year (2013-14). This figure is much less compared to the year 2012-13 figure, which had found that 25,228 tubectomies and 1,892 vasectomies had taken place in the Capital.

Experts say despite government’s concerns about gender equality, the burden of birth control continues to rest with women.

“Several government sterilisation camps across the country, including those in Delhi, violate Supreme Court guidelines of operative checks and post-operative checks to determine if the person undergoing sterilization has a disease. Most of these camps promote tubectomy, while vasectomy takes a backseat. Tubectomy is often done without informed consent, when women go to hospitals for a delivery or an abortion,” said Sanjay Sharma, director, Health Rights Initiative, Human Rights Law Network.

Tubectomy numbers, hence, are always higher. “Men are reluctant to opt for vasectomy as they lose their sexual vigour or potency. They think the surgery will lead to sexual problems, which is not true,” said Dr Neerja Bhatla, professor, department of obstetrics & gynaecology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

“Vasectomy is a much safer option for permanent sterilisation. Tubectomy is done laparoscopically under general anaesthesia,” she added.