Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar on Sunday claimed that modern Indian women want to stay single, unwilling to give birth even after marriage and desire children by surrogacy.
"Today, I am sorry to say this, lots of modern women in India want to stay single. Even if they get married, they don't want to give birth. They want surrogacy. So there is a paradigm shift in our thinking, which is not good," he said during the World Mental Health Day at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences.
Lamenting the 'western influence' on Indian society, the minister said people are not willing to let their parents be with them.
"Unfortunately, today we are going in a western way. We don't want our parents to live with us, forget about grandparents being with us," the minister said.
Speaking about mental health in India, Sudhakar said every seventh Indian has some kind of mental issue, which could be mild, moderate and severe.
However, according to him, stress management is an art and Indian need not have to learn but preach the world how to handle it.
"Stress management is an art. This art we need not learn as Indians. We need to preach to the world how to handle stress, because yoga, meditation and Pranayama are the wonderful tools which our ancestors had taught the world thousands of years back," he said.
About COVID-19 and mental health, Sudhakar said the relatives were not able to touch the bodies of their near and dear ones, which caused them mental agony.
"The pandemic made the government start counselling COVID-19 patients. Till date we have counseled 24 lakh COVID-19 patients in Karnataka. I don't know any other state which has done this," Sudhakar said.
Expressing his gratitude to the NIMHANS, he said the institute was counseling people from its digital platform and was offering tele-medicine.
Sudhakar also expressed his gratitude to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who spoke earlier at the event, for giving 1.5 crore COVID-19 vaccines to Karnataka every month since September, which increased the inoculation coverage in the state.
He hailed the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving 94 crore vaccines till date since the launch of vaccination drive as the country undertook the Herculean task of vaccinating the entire population free of cost.
"We are the only country which is offering vaccines free of cost. Elsewhere, people are made to pay between Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000 per vaccine," Sudhakar said.