In the internet era, anonymity can be considered to be the prime reason for increased cyberbullying or online harassment. While cases of people being intimidated online have been on rise, anonymity recently seems to have proven helpful. According to the data by a website, Free Condom Store, Indians ordered 10 lakh condoms in just 69 days. According to the online store launched on April 28 by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, 9.56 lakh condoms were delivered for free. In a country where social stigma has stopped people from openly discussing sexual abuse, sex or menstruation; condoms are forbidden. However, people ordered condoms online when given the carpet of anonymity. Also Read - Why #ForgetCondoms? Because Durex Has Launched India's Thinnest Condoms Called 'Invisible', Meme Fest Ensues
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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.” Also Read - Eww! Cops Bust a Factory in Vietnam Which Used to Sell Used Condoms After Washing Them
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.