D-day is here. Tomorrow, the country’s ‘oppressed and abused’ men will celebrate International Men’s Day for the first time. Their top demand from the government: “set up a ministry for men’s welfare”.
“We will submit a memorandum urging the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi to set up such a ministry,” says Swarup Sarkar of the Save Family Foundation (SFF), which has declared November 19 as International Men’s Day along with organisations such as My Nation, Protect Indian Family and Asha-Kiran. International chapters of Save Family Foundation will make a similar request at the Indian embassies in the UK, the US, Australia and the Mid-East.
Men cry against dowry
Every 4 minutes, one man is falsely accused of dowry harassment
Every 2.4 hours, one senior citizen is falsely accused of dowry demands
(Source: an RTI application filed by the Save Family Foundation)
“The government gets 82 per cent of its taxes from men, but not a rupee has been allocated for men’s welfare in the budget in 60 years,” says SFF activist Neeraj Aggarwal.
The organisations have also been protesting against the misuse of dowry and domestic violence laws. “Men’s Day isn’t just about men,” says Prem Ahuja, wife of a men’s rights activist, and herself a men’s group member. She adds, “Many senior citizens are being harassed, abused and blackmailed by their daughters-in-law in the name of dowry.” On Monday, men activists will visit such elderly ‘victims’ of the dowry law in Tihar Jail and distribute woollen clothes among them.
The event will also be marked in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. In Bangalore, the organisation plans to declare it a dry day.