Thousands of poor women located in the Tamil Nadu state of India have been offered free cosmetic breast surgery. This offer includes implants because, according to its health minister, “poor people also have a right to look beautiful”.
The southern Indian state is well known for its giveaways. In the past, they have awarded free canteens and also provided thousands of disadvantaged people with items as varied as laptops, goats and bicycles.
It will now offer cosmetic breast surgery free of charge to all women. The breast surgery can be for medical or aesthetic reasons with priority surgery given to women that come from the poorest sections of society.
State health minister, C. Vijayabaskar, said “If a poor woman desires to look beautiful, we will support her financially. Whether they require medical procedures or beauty treatment, it will be free.”
Critics of the idea claim the state government is wasting public money on cosmetic surgery, and focusing on beauty, instead of spending money on treating serious ailments.
Cosmetic breast surgery is becoming increasingly popular in India but private hospitals charge $2300 to $3800 for a procedure. This amount of money is a year's wage for most Indians.
More than 90,000 such procedures were carried out in the country in 2016, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, up from 50,600 in 2010.
V. Ramadevi, who heads a state-run clinic where the surgeries will be performed, said some women want surgery because they “face psychological issues that may severely impact their lives. Their career and marriage are derailed because they are taunted and their confidence is shattered.” She added that the clinic expects up to 150 women a month to take up the offer.
(This article originally appeared on dailymail.co.uk)