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NEW DELHI: The Bihar government is educating migrant workers, who are at quarantine centres, on the need for family planning. The state has seen more than three million labourers return due to loss of jobs in the wake of the nationwide lockdown.

Senior ministers said the state is spending more than Rs5,500 per person in quarantine and is using this time for skill mapping exercise being conducted for migrant labourers.

"We felt that while these migrant labourers are in quarantine after reaching back state, we should carry out certain exercises, which would help them in future. Since the state government is already carrying out skill mapping exercise of migrants, it was decided to use this time at the quarantine centre to talk about family planning," said a senior cabinet minister from Bihar.

The state also said migrant workers are also being taught yoga, ways to look after their health and boost immunities.

A senior cabinet minister said the issue of population increase in Bihar can be understood from the fact that it increases by 25% every decade. The minister said while fertility rate has reduced due to continued efforts on education of girl child by the government, the focus on family planning should be brought to the fore.

"So when we talk about family planning to these people who are in quarantine, we given them contraceptives when they leave these quarantine centres. The state government is also giving food materials and Rs1,000 to every person belonging to financially weaker sections when they leave these quarantine centres," the minister added.

In the past two months, the state government has distributed 18 lakh packets of contraceptives to those at quarantine centres. In April, only 2.14 lakh packets of contraceptives were distributed, but in May, the number went up to over 15 lakh.

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