Curbing Population Via Call Center

February 22, 2009 • News

Thanks to Marian Starkey for this article.

The phone rang at a call center in New Delhi one recent afternoon. When an agent picked up the receiver, a young woman whispered hesitantly. She said that she lived with her large extended family in a remote rural settlement and that nobody knew she was calling.

“I told her to be open and have no fear. She paused after every word,” recalled Payalkumari, 27, the call center agent, who uses only her first name. “Then she slowly opened up. She was newly married. She said her mother-in-law wanted her to have a child right away, but she was not ready to. She asked, ‘Is there some contraception that I can use secretly and nobody else will get to know in the family?’ ”

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