A district in northern India is offering prizes including television sets, food processors and even a Tata Nano car for people who agree to undergo sterilisation, a doctor told AFP on Friday.
“We want to promote sterilisation,” Pratap Singh Dutter, the deputy chief medical officer of Jhunjhunu district in the north Indian state of Rajasthan, told AFP.
“Everyone who gets sterilised between today and 30 September will be entered into a lottery to win prizes.”
“We felt we were falling behind on our sterilisation targets of 21,000 per year, so the district collector came up with this idea. We hope at least 6,000 people will come forward in the next three months to get sterilised,” he said.
According to census data released in March this year, India’s already billion-plus population is set to grow further in the next few decades and become the world’s biggest by 2030, surpassing China’s.
The country has a total fertility rate–the number of children borne on average per woman–of 2.588, according to 2010 figures issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
In the past, Indian officials have floated stranger incentives and theories on the best ways to slow down the country’s birth rate.
Two years ago Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad suggested that late-night television would act as an effective form of birth control, by lulling people to sleep so they would not produce any children.