BENGALURU: In remarks that shocked an audience comprising eminent mental healthcare experts, among others, Karnataka health and family welfare minister K Sudhakar on Sunday regretted the “choices” of modern Indian women while referring to disappearing joint families and “Indians unfortunately going the western way”.
“Sorry to say this. Today, a lot of modern women in India want to stay single. Even if they get married, they don’t want to give birth; they want surrogacy,” Sudhakar said while adressing a World Mental Health Day event at Nimhans.
The minister elaborated about India’s contribution of Yoga, meditation and pranayama to the world. “Our ancestors taught the world 100 years ago. Unfortunately, today, we are going the western way. We don’t want our parents living with us, forget about grandparents,” he said.
The minister said that about 30 minutes of walking every morning could help release good hormones and make a person feel good. “Covid and mental health can’t be separated,” the minister said, adding that during the beginning of the pandemic, the health department started tele-counselling for Covid patients, as suggested by experts in Nimhans.
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the need was to remove the stigma attached to mental health issues. He said mental health, like diabetes, is a silent killer. “While diabetes becomes fatal because it often goes undetected, people with mental health do not come forward because of stigma.”
Mandaviya said more research from institutes like Nimhans needs to be done for taking policy decisions in the coming days.
The Karnataka minister’s words about the “choices” of modern women came as a shocker to the audience, mainly from the faculty of the national institute of importance. “It was an awful comment,” said a senior professor from Nimhans.
“It cannot be dismissed as his individual comment when said in an open forum like the World Mental Health Day event,” a faculty member from Nimhans told TOI.
Modern Indian women don’t want to give birth: Minister – Times of India