The Government has launched a new initiative to make sure that gay men can access contraception without having to pay for it.
The government has launched the first government-funded contraceptive service in India, called Bharat Maternity Fund, in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The fund will offer free contraceptive services for women aged between 18 and 35 years, including sterilisation, birth control, contraceptive implants and the provision of contraception and related health services to men who are not eligible for government assistance.
“We will offer this service to those who have not been able to access contraceptive services due to their gender identity.
The government has ensured that it is not an exclusionary programme,” Minister of State for Family, Women and Child Development Anupam Kher said.
The plan will include the delivery of contraceptives and related services, including vasectomies, sterilisation and contraceptive implants, to eligible gay men and their families, he said.
“There will be a minimum monthly cost for this service, which will be less than Rs 100,” he said, adding that the fund will be funded through the Government of India’s Consolidated Fund for Domestic Assistance (CGDA).
Mr Kher was responding to a question on whether the fund would be used for other services, like sterilisation or birth control implants.
He said there were other services such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (PCC) programme, which had been funded through CGDA.
The fund will provide free contraceptives, sterilization, birth and abortion services, contraception for sterilisation for women, birth Control, Sterilisation and abortion, as well as vasectomy, contraceptive implant, contraceptive sterilisation services for men, sterilisations for women and the services for people with disabilities and women and children, he added.