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Lavanya Bahuguna


Read Why This Indian Journalist Is Demanding A Mandatory 2-Month Paid Paternity Leave For Fathers

  • IWB Post
  •  May 15, 2018

Journalist Dhanya Rajendran has started an online petition demanding a 2-month paid paternity leave for working fathers across India. She decided to raise a voice after she herself experienced the benefit of having her husband around during and after the pregnancy. She now wants every working woman in India to experience this joy.

And so, she has written to the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, and all Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, asking them to draft and pass a law mandating all public and private organizations in India to provide the option of two months paid paternity leave for fathers.

She writes, “The months ahead of the 2011 Tamil Nadu polls were not just crucial, but also exciting for a TV journalist. But I was pregnant and due to deliver my baby during the final months of the campaign. I was away from the heat and dust of politics, safeguarding my little baby. After the pregnancy, if I could get back to work sooner and happier, it was because of one crucial person – my husband, who stayed back home to take care of the baby.”

She’s right when she says that the burden of a pregnant/nursing woman lessens if she’s got the support from her spouses. Sharing from her experience, she says, “We lose at least a year of our career due to the physical toll pregnancy takes on us. We are sleep-deprived and tired, and getting back to work can be difficult. And when men are not around to share the responsibility, the burden of parenting falls entirely on our shoulder, crippling us from doing anything else for years after.”

Dhanya’s husband was able to take a 5-week off after the baby was born, thanks to his empathetic bosses. However, his workplace doesn’t practice any policy of paternity leave for men. She remembers, “Having him around in those crucial days meant the parenting was genuinely shared. I got the peace of mind and the time to attend to work when I wanted. I could get enough, quality sleep. I felt energized.”

Quoting a survey, she describes how active fatherhood is not just good for the dad to bond with the baby but also works amazingly well for his own health.

It’s definitely time the working society in our country understands that it’s not just the mom’s job to take care of the baby. The father is equally responsible for the child’s birth and growth. Do you agree? If yes, click here to sign the petition. So far, more than 1500 people have joined the virtual protest.

(image source)

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