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Government officials in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have begun offering fast-track gun licenses to men who agree to undergo sterilization, so they will not feel less manly.
The region is part of Chambal Valley, notorious for its rampaging gangs of robbers and bandits, and many villagers desperately want to possess firearms.
Vasectomy camps — regularly set up in many parts of the country as part of a solution to India's population explosion — often fail to meet their targets. Most men refuse to be sterilized, thinking the process strips them of their manliness.
The region has failed repeatedly to attract villagers to government family planning programs, said Maneesh Srivastava, chief administrator of the district of Shivpuri. "In fact, we never managed to meet even one-fourth the annual sterilization target."
Only eight men came for sterilization in the district last year. In the first 10 weeks after the plan was announced this year, more than 200 men have undergone vasectomies and many others are waiting, he said.