Hyderabad: In perhaps a first, a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member of Parliament (MP) from Andhra Pradesh (AP) has asked for nine days of paternity leave from January 29 to February 10, as his wife is expecting to give birth to their child soon. The positive development is another step towards not putting the entire onus of childcare only on mothers in the country.
Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu, the TDP MP, in his letter seeking leave to Om Birla, Lok Sabha speaker, stated that he believes that “childcare should not solely be the responsibility of the mother”.
“As you are well aware, in addition to nutrition, nurturing relationships and a secure environment in the early days of a child’s life shape its well-being and cognitive development…I look forward to being an equal contributor in the care and progress of our child,” said Ram Mohan Naidu’s letter.
The Srikakulam MP in his letter informed the speaker that he will follow-up on the Lok Sabha proceedings remotely to be apprised of all the discussions. The important part of his letter, with regard to the delivery of his child, was his statement on the importance of being present with his wife. “However, at the current moment, as a responsible husband and soon-to-be-father, I wish to be by the side of my child,” said his letter, on the regard.
Ram Mohan Naidu’s letter might perhaps set forth discussion about men also getting leaves to tend to their child, and not just leave the entire work of childcare of women, who are allowed to go on maternity leave. In India, while male central government employees do get paternity leave, there is no law as such that mandates private companies to provide leaves for men when they have children.
More recently, Virat Kohli leaving Australia mid-way during India’s Down Under tour made headlines, with some censuring him for skipping “national duty”, while others praised him for being with his family. Prior to that, food delivery company Zomato made news after it announced a 26-week paternity leave for its employees.