Karuna Khurana a student of Delhi University says, “It is important for youngsters to understand the importance of safe-sex and condom vending machines would ensure that people can rely on protection when the need arises. If a person’s mind is made up, he will have sex anyway, the only thing we can do is encourage safe sex.”
The concept of condom vending machines is fairly new to India but most of the people are unaware about the machines that are also known as condom ATMs. In Chennai and Hyderabad, condom vending machines have been installed in Sulabh toilets and a lot of people are happy with them.
Raghu Chopra, a Computer Engineer from Bangalore says, “It is indeed a great phenomenon. I feel that it is a noble idea to help people protect themselves against HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. Many a times people are unable to go to Chemist stores to purchase condoms as they feel shy or get embarrassed and end up having unprotected sex. This leads them into trouble. Condom vending machines save us the dread of walking up and asking for a condom and help enjoy safe sex.”
The controversy swirling around condom vending machines is that their installation is likely to corrupt the youth and damage the ideals of our country. What ideals are being talked about is the question. If one were to have sex with a stranger, would it be wise to use a condom or simply go in for unprotected sex? Can our cherished ideals control thousands of individuals plunging in the act or would condom vending machines help control the HIV/AIDS crisis to an extent?
Manisha Bahadur, Retail professional from Delhi opines, “Installing condom vending machines is a pretty good idea as most people in our country feel shy asking a third person for condoms. It would be a great step toward promoting AIDS awareness and we as a nation need to focus on its positive effects. The social structure in our society is to be blamed for the suppression of such concepts, which stand as a major hurdle in the way of the country’s overall progress. If this is treated in the minds of the people then we can control the spread of AIDS efficiently. People need to be more responsible for their lives and they have to realise that one wrong act can destroy many lives. Condom vending machines are more of a necessity than a luxury.”
Shyam Sunder, a truck driver from Haryana says, “The vending machines should be next to ATM machines so that people do not break them. Several fellow Indians think that it is against our culture to use condoms but the concept should be encouraged and everyone should have access to it easily.”
Some people think that condom vending machines will corrupt the youth and encourage them to experiment with sex on a wider scale. But in our country, everybody is doing it and nobody wants to talk about it. How sane is this attitude? Can we stop people from indulging in the act itself by promoting AIDS awareness among the masses?
Harjeet Singh, a businessman from Delhi says, “Technology in our country is still emerging in a big way. People tend to tamper with machines either because they don’t know how to operate them or no guard is standing in front of the machines. People want to get everything free of cost and such incidents have happened in the past. Such machines will require high maintenance which is not possible in our country. Thus, I think that medical stores are the best places to shop for condoms.”
Neha Arora, a mother of two says, “We should have condom vending machines because many youngsters are experimenting with sex and they should be encouraged to use condoms. These days children tend to get carried away very easily. Times have changed and parents need to change their views as well. It is better to know that your child is practicing safe sex rather than worry about his/her safety all the time. Whether the child is having sex or not is not as important as knowing if he is using a condom or not.”
Ridhi Aggarwal, a fashion designer says, “Condom vending machines should be installed in Pubs and nightclubs where a lot of youngsters end up having one-night stands. Many of my friends have ended up indulging in unsafe sex because the chemist stores were either shut down or were out of their way. These machines would definitely help people in a big way.”
Condom vending machines are an effort to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. They certainly do not collide with the values of our country. For those who are against the concept, think about the number of lives that might be saved with the effort.