Personally, I think it's for real. I think not, but I sure hope that the Indians are NOT trading firearms licenses for vasectomies.
That would be just too cruel.
"The number of vasectomies in the district had not even crossed the double digit figure in the past eight years. Last year, there were only eight cases of vasectomy and, surprisingly, a year before that (2006) it was only one," Shivpuri District Collector Manish Shrivastava told IANS on phone.
"I then put on my thinking cap and tried to find out the reason behind such a poor response to vasectomy. I soon came to know that the people in this region have a penchant for their macho image and they find going for sterilisation beneath their dignity.
"Since people in this dacoit infested district also have a penchant for guns, I thought of providing them a bigger symbol of masculinity (a gun) and told them to come forward for vasectomy," Shrivastava said.
"Guns in dacoit infested Chambal region, of which Shivpuri is a part, are not only considered a status symbol but are also a sign of manliness."
This has obviously worked better than the Rs.1,100 given to the man undergoing vasectomy and Rs.200 to the person who motivated him - the earlier incentive schemes.
"This year, however, over 150 men have got themselves sterilised since we have offered gun licences. I expect another 100 by the end of this month," Shrivastava said.