A 'Nayi Pahal' kit to be distributed among couples will have, besides condoms and contraceptives, a message on safe sex, and the importance of family planning, a pack of towels and handkerchiefs, nail-cutter, comb and mirror.
The kits are to be distributed by ASHA or Accredited Social Health Activist workers.
The scheme is part of the central government's "Mission Parivar Vikas" project for seven states that have the highest birth rate. These are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam.
Avneesh Saxena, who heads the Mission Parivar Vikas programme in UP, said, "The main objective of this scheme is to reach out to newlyweds in rural areas. Unlike the west, pre-marriage counselling is almost absent in our country. By giving out these kits we hope to educate them in the beginning itself."
The scheme, dubbed as "Shagun" by some, has been panned by the Opposition. "If they want to take out such an initiative then it should be planned well and organised," said Congress leader PL Punia.
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