In contrast, condom sales down 17% in Chandigarh.
CHANDIGARH – When it comes to practising safe sex, the Punjabi males are surely outdoing their Haryanvi counterparts. Punjab has witnessed a whopping 64 per cent increase in the sale of condoms, from 1.32 crore pieces in 2009-10 (July to June) to 2.16 crore pieces in 2010-11, under the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
In contrast, the sale figures in Haryana have witnessed an increase of 45 per cent, from 50.46 lakh to 73.14 lakh in the same period. These figures pertain to the sale of only two brands of condoms, Deluxe Nirodh and Ustaad, distributed by HLL Lifecare Limited under the NACO-funded project. However, if the sale figures of other commercial brands are added, the total sale of condoms in Punjab and Haryana is likely to exceed 10 crore and 5.8 crore, respectively. NACO officials say the sale of condoms had gone up primarily due to the wide distribution network established through traditional (chemists etc) and non-traditional outlets like vegetable and fruit vendors. As compared to 1,826 traditional outlets and 2,825 non-traditional outlets in 2009-10, their number had gone up to 5,405 and 7,713 respectively in 2010-11.
Arun R Gangadharan, Deputy Manager, Marketing, HLL Lifecare, said there had been an overall increase in the sale of condoms throughout the country following awareness programmes. He said seven districts, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ropar and Mohali, in Punjab were enrolled with NACO where traditional and non-traditional outlets provided branded condoms on subsidised rates.
However, Chandigarh had seen a 17 per cent decrease in the condom sales under the project-from 16.21 lakh condoms in 2009-10 to 13.46 lakh in the subsequent year. SACS director Dr Vanita Gupta attributed the decline to weak marketing.