27 December, 2005

std booths

Gaurav at Vantage Point discovers a reason behind the spread of AIDs in India, government-sponsored STD booths.:

StdboothWhen I spotted the first one, I put it down to jetlag. But then, I kept seeing an “STD Booth” every few metres. I asked my driver to stop the car near one and I realised that the “booth” which was a small yellow kiosk, actually boasted of being “Government Approved”.

There are Government Approved STD Booths all over India, and we are wondering why AIDS is spreading so fast.

As I reached my hotel, I was greeted by an official from the Health Ministry. I immediately asked him to explain to me why there were STD booths all over the place. For some reason, he beamed, and said,

“Oh yes, that is one of your greatest achievements!”

“Excuse me? Achievements?”

“Yes. You see what happened is, our late great Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi, in 84, realised that STD was there only in the big cities, and there too, only with rich folks. Rajeev Gandhi felt this was not fair. He wanted every Indian to have STD.”

“What? Are you serious?”

“Yes, Rajeevji was a great visionary. He wanted even the poorest to be able to have STD. So he called an expert from abroad, a NonResident Indian called Sam Pitroda. Pitroda was asked to suggest how all Indians could have STD in their homes. That time, India had very low rate of STD penetration. Mr. Pitroda travelled far and wide, and suggested that the way to spread STD amongst the masses was simple. It may not be possible for everyone to get STD at home. So he suggested that he would come up with a revolutionary new method to spread STD. That was to set up STD booths so that common people, poor people, everywhere could get STD at a nominal fee.”

“I am shocked!”

(Via Amit Varma)

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by @ 8:37 pm. Filed under India, Asia, South Asia

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