We celebrate both mothers day as well as fathers day equally with the same aplomb, as we treat and respect both of them equally.Both a mother and father are the two eyes of a child.
Unfortunately, the Government of India does not treat them at par with, while enacting laws for them.
Recently, on August, 8, 2016, Maternity amendment act was passed in the Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament in the Monsoon session.The amendment provides for the enhancement of maternity leave for the pregnant women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, besides providing the setting up a screch for mothers, if there are more than 50 women employees in an office.The amendment act is yet to be passed in the Lok Sabha of the Parliament in the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament.The enhancement of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks helps the pregnant women employees:
- To recuperate well after undergoing the trauma of a child birth and get themselves prepared physically as well as mentally for the resumption of their employment.
- It helps the mothers to discharge their motherly duties of rearing their children upto six months after delivery, by mother-feeding their children.It is needless to emphasis the importance of mother-feeding after delivery, for which a sustained campaigning is done, even by celebrating mother’s feeding week.
- The formation of screches within the vicinity of their office helps the mothers to have a close watch over their children, in the course of their employment even after the completion of their maternity leave.Such screches are really a boon to the delivering women, most of whom are living in a nuclear family system, in towns and metropolis.In a nuclear family, the absence of elders and more members is a conspicuous feature.
It is unfortunate to note that when the case of paternity leave for fathers was put forth before the concerned Central Minister, Menaks Gandhi, she simply pooh-poohed the idea, since such paternity leaves may be enjoyed as holidays by the fathers.The Minister is actually ignorant of the ground realities of the family system prevailing among the women employees and their husbands.It is true that the women employees have a major role in bearing and delivering a child with the attendant pains invloved in it.At the same time, the role of their husbands, who are mostly employees, cannot be undermined or under estimated in safeguarding the pregnant women in their gestation period and in the course of their pregnancy, by providing them with the required medical attendance, besides helping them in the domestic front as well.It should be noted that the husbands of the pregnant women, being the employees too, have to strain much to attend their office work, besides helping and closely monitoring their pregnant wives.
Under the circumstances mentioned above, the role of the employee husbands in nurturing and safeguarding their pregnant wives gains more prominence,equal importance and significance.Realising their role, the western giants like Google and Microsoft have already allow paternity leave for a period not less than 10 days.
Therefore, the Indian government taking the ground realities into account, consider the case of the employee husbands of pregnant women by taking appropriate steps for granting paternity leave for them, atleast in the post-partem period of delivering women in which both the mother and new born baby require equal care and attention and in such a case, the government must realise that the employee husbands of delivering women are after all human and they cannot be omnipresent both in their office as well as in the hospital where their delivering wives and the newly born babies are.
Therefore, it requires a more serious and prudent approach on the part of the Indian Government in granting paternity leave for the employee husbands of pregnant women.