Villagers and politicians in India have criticised workers who use models of their genitals to teach them about family planning

In India, professional “social health activists” (ASHA), also known as health care workers or front-line workers, are often dispatched to rural Areas of India to carry out door-to-door tasks of providing counseling, medicine and vaccination services, Sputnik news agency reported Tuesday.In some villages in The Indian state of Maharashtra, local villagers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians were outraged when ASHA workers used a model male genitalia to teach them about family planning.Male villagers from Burdhana district in Maharashtra even accused ASHA workers of trying to seduce their wives because they demonstrated how to use condoms using rubber models of male genitalia.Last week, nearly 25,000 family planning kits, including models, were distributed to ASHA workers who were asked to go to the countryside to spread family planning ideas, the report said.A staff member told the Indian Express that whenever they brought out the models, local residents, especially men, became angry.”They said we were shameless and that we were corrupting their wives,” the official said.On the other hand, Chitra Wag, BJP vice president in Maharashtra, claimed that the state government was promoting “sexual indulgence”.Akash Bengkal, another BJP MP, demanded that the state go nment apologise to health workers for causing them “embarrassment”.Reha Nanda, an ASHA worker based in Mumbai, told Sputnik that such models have been used elsewhere to spread the idea of family planning, but it is only in these areas that they have provoked such sharp criticism.”In most other places, people don’t get angry at all,” Nanda added.Nanda said only a few ASHA workers were embarrassed by the incident, and most of them were still willing to communicate with villagers about family planning.The Maharashtra government has not issued any statement on the issue, but the BJP has asked the state go nment to withdraw the kits containing models of genitalia, the report said.(Edit: WDQ)

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