The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday withdrew the controversial circular that reminded the dark days of the Emergency following severe criticism from all quarters.

The circular, issued by National Health Mission (NHM) state Director Chhavi Bharadwaj, asked multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) to meet sterilisation targets or else their salaries would be withheld and they would be given compulsory retirement. She has been removed from the post.

State’s health minister Tulsi Silawat said the state government has withdrawn the order and has shifted the NHM director Bhardwaj as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at the state secretariat.

Controversial order

The circular had asked each of MPHW to get atleast one man sterilised in this fiscal ending March 31 or else their salaries would be withheld and they would be given compulsory retirement.

The move by the state unit of the NHM has come after the National Family Health Survey-4 report recorded that only 0.5% men were opting for sterilisation in Madhya Pradesh.