Gethin Chamberlain
London Guardian
April 20, 2012

Money from the UK’s Department for International Development has helped pay for a controversial programme that has led to miscarriages and even deaths after botched operations

Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country’s burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

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Mini Car, TV, $22 for Sterilization In India

Lois Rain
July 6, 2011

In an effort to control India’s growing population, health officials west of New Delhi are offering incentives like TVs, a mini car, and food processors to the first sterilization participants. Others who get vasectomies will receive the American equivalent of $22.80 and around $4.50 for the person who referred them. That similar cash compensation plan is currently offered to poor men of Tagpur.

But this isn’t merely compensation for a permanent decision to give up parenthood. It’s really more of a sweepstakes with prizes for the lucky ones. Rules are, sterilization participants must enter between now and September 30th to be “entered into a lottery to win prizes.” -Asian Tribune

Incentives for sterilization in India are not new. In 1973, a piece called “Food Incentives For Indians: Can They Be Just?” entertained the idea of offering food for the poor to sterilize. This initiative proposed by the Indian Family Planning Council who held that such restrictions of freedom would benefit the greater good and ensure freedom, nutrition, jobs, and education. This raised the question if the initiative was similar to coercing the poor to choose between no food or no family.

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