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A day after a booklet, released by the government’s Ayush Ministry, recommended that pregnant woman should control lust, hang “beautiful” pictures on the wall and shun non-vegetarian food to deliver a healthy baby, the Ministry on Wednesday clarified its position saying that many media reports were “inaccurate” and asserted that the booklet doesn’t feature the words “no sex”.
“Some news reports carry an assertion that the booklet puts forward the “prescription” that “pregnant women in India” should “say no to sex after conception”. This is far from the truth. In fact, the words “no sex” do not feature at all in the booklet,” the Ayush Ministry said in a press release.
The booklet — ‘Mother and Child Care’ — was distributed at an event to mark the run-up to Yoga Day and was issued by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN). According to reports, the function was presided over by Shripad Naik, the Minister of State for AYUSH. “This publication has been in distribution through the units of the erstwhile Department of AYUSH and CCRYN since 2013. The report that it was released by the Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH in the recent past is incorrect,” the Ministry claimed.
According to the booklet, pregnant women should “detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred and lust” and avoid “bad company and be with good people”. In addition, it advises them to have “spiritual” thoughts and read the life histories of “great personalities”.
Clarifying further, the Ministry said that the booklet contains general guidelines for pregnant women, which are based on the principles and concepts of Yoga & Naturopathy. “Many new mothers and families have appreciated that information relevant to the different phases of pregnancy has been made available in a simple format in the booklet. The information provided includes diet plans based on clinical experience, simple naturopathy treatments and tips for remaining stress-free during pregnancy,” the release said.
The Ministry said the suggestion on page 14 regarding avoiding certain types of food like tea, coffee, white flour products, fried and oily items and non-veg during pregnancy, received selective attention. “The suggestion that non-vegetarian food may be avoided (as Yoga & Naturopathy doesn’t advocate non-vegetarian food in its practice) has been singled out for high-lighting in some reports, omitting the mention of white flour products, fried and oily items etc,” the release added.
Reacting to the development, Minister Naik had earlier said that the booklet, published three years ago, is a compilation of yoga practices that are believed to help pregnant women. “The Booklet does not contain any advice on abstaining from sex,” he had said.
With inputs from Agencies