Social anonymity has been giving rise to crimes such as cyberbullying and online harassment. While until now the carpet of anonymity has only led to problems, seems it can also be used for the advantage. In a country where social stigma has stopped us from openly discussing sexual abuse, sex or menstruation; condoms are forbidden. However, the data from an online store launched on April 28 by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation states otherwise. According to the data, since the opening of Free Condom Store, Indians ordered 10 lakh condoms in just 69 days. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched the free store on April 28, and the data reveals that 9.56 lakh condoms were delivered for free.
As per the data, around 5.14 lakh were requested by communities and NGOs, while the remaining (4.41 lakh) were ordered by individuals. The demand was high in Delhi and Karnataka. The foundation has partnered with state-run Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL), which makes a special brand of condoms. Dr V Sam Prasad, the foundation’s India programme director, told TOI that they were surprised how they ran out of stock. He said, “We thought the stock of 10 lakh condoms would suffice until December but we ran out by the first week of July. We have ordered another 20 lakh which we will receive in the last week of November and orders for another 50 lakh have been placed for January.”
According to experts, the huge response can be attributed to the fact that most Indians want to avoid the embarrassment asking for a product linked to sex to a shopkeeper.” Reportedly, the contraceptive industry also agrees that the stigma is still an issue in India.
The Centre and some state governments are also promoting condom use. The latest National Family Health Survey shows that only 5.6 percent of those surveyed used condoms for birth control. However, that is an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous survey. While the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) data shows an increase in condom usage among sex workers, the organization states that there is a lot to change. The annual sale of condoms is observed at around 200 to 220 crore pieces.