Following reports of a sharp rise in institutional deliveries after March in Bihar, the State Health Society has started giving condoms and contraceptive pills to scores of men and women leaving the quarantine facilities amid the coronavirus-imposed lockdown.
According to the data provided by the National Family Health Survey in 2016, the state has the highest fertility rate in India at 3.4 children per woman.
The state has observed a rise in child births in the nine months after March and November, which is also the time when thousands of migrant workers come back to their natives to spend time with their families during festivals.
“We are distributing condoms and contraceptives as we have noticed that nine months after March and November when maximum migrants return for Holi, Diwali and Chhath, there is a big increase in institutional deliveries, but which go down in the preceding and following months,” State Health Society executive director Manoj Kumar was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Considering the birth rate in Bihar being the highest in the country, Kumar pointed out that the discussions to distribute condoms and contraceptive pills were taken at the “highest level.”
Each year funds are provided by the Health Ministry to states for distributing condoms and contraceptive pills, which directly falls under the purview of the State Health Society.
Due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, after being stranded in unknown lands for more than two months, lakhs of migrant workers headed back home to Bihar and other states with the help of Centre’s Shramik Special trains and gradual easing of restrictions.
As per the records maintained by the Bihar government, around 10 lakh migrants returned to the state on foot and shared transportation since people were allowed inter-state travel in May.
In Shramik trains, over 22 lakh migrant labourers reached the state.
States such as Bihar and Odisha saw the maximum inflow of stranded migrants, with almost 29 lakh people registering for the ₹1,000 aid announced by the state government in March.