India's Only Condom Bar Shuts Down

India's Only Condom Bar Shuts Down

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India's only condom bar generated international attention but recently shut down, a victim of official prudishness reports the Indo Asian News Service. The bar, located off a busy highway between the cities of Chandigarh and Panchkula was launched in 2007. It was a real bar with different colored condoms on the wall alongside the liquor bottles. There were also t-shirts and cups advocating safe sex. The Condom Bar was regarded a success because free condom pickups (including female condoms) by customers was steadily on the rise. A condom vending machine was also installed in the bathroom. The bar was inaugurated by a woman in her late 20s, who discovered she had AIDS after her husband died from the disease in 2005. But now the government has decided the condom theme was too embarrassing. No senior officials had come to the inauguration. So while the bar remains, the condoms have been removed. Instead the the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation says the bar will now have a village handicrafts theme. "I feel sad that the unique condom concept has been taken off. This is a regressive step," said Jasbir Singh Bir who had been the managing director of the tourism corporation when the bar was inaugurated. "When the condom bar opened, we had enquiries from all over the world as other countries and local authorities wanted to replicate the concept in their cities."