Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maa Tujhe Salaam !


The central government has declared that women can now avail maternity leave up to six months. (It was initially 3 months). In addition to this, they can also take 2 years of paid leave as maternal leave. They may club this with the 180 days of maternity leave or spread it out and utilize it over a period of 18 years. What that actually means is, that a lady may choose to stay home for 2 ½ years or stay home for first 6 months or so and then use the rest of it later. When the child is sick, has exams, or needs nurturing at any point, till the child is 18. The scheme is applicable for 2 children. This, is a big relief to a lot of mothers.

I read an article by a mother of a 6 month old girl. This lady has recently shifted to Mumbai and has a nuclear family. She had to join her office, when her daughter was just 3 months old. They had no friends or family to take care of the baby. She had to leave the baby at a crèche with people she didn`t know from Adams. Her story was heartbreaking. So ,when I read the article about maternity leave ,I was very happy for her. But the bubble burst soon. I realized that the scheme was open only to central Government employees and not State government or the private sector.
And though,I welcome whatever little steps the government is taking , I still wish they would go faster and bigger. It is high time that a woman`s perspective is acknowledged and recognized. I met a friend recently ,who lives in the UK. She is very clear about not shifting base to India as UK is very child and woman friendly. She works as a supervisor in a primary school and puts in only 2 ½ days a week. She still earns enough to support her 2 school going children and manages to squeeze in a trip or two to India every year or so. Also ,she says that the terms are not so rigid. She has flexi options and can change her timings or days when her children need her. She also ,is never asked to stay beyond a certain hour as she is a single parent.
All this sounded like a fairytale to me. Just too good to be true. Now only ,if our Government and private sector would wake up and smell the coffee, we too could soar high. With so much of talent and potential around all we need is more women friendly policies.
But for now ,let us cheer for whatever little measures come our way. Just a passing thought- Why not grant a 3 or 6 month Paternity leave too? Dad`s are very much hands –on now and I am sure a lot of them would happily pitch in for child rearing. Hmmm , I am getting too greedy perhaps!

12 comments:

Renu said...

Welcome step:) I saw even in US, the kids fall sick very often when left at Creche.I wonder what now the advocators of equality are going to say:) why the leave for women only, same must apply for men also::))

PARRY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeeplyDip said...

Well my first reaction here is - the Indian govt employees need this the least!! They already have a very relaxed systme with loads of perks for their employees - without any boundations on how they perform.
Flexi timings are very well implemented in Canada and US - even for men. But if we see from a business owner's side - it is a huge cost for them without any work being done - flexi times and 6months, I'm totally in for, no work and pay - not a very good idea. It may hurt things negatively as well - people will think ten times before recruiting a female...btw i am a woman myself but am totally against free pay.

Piper .. said...

quite a welcome relief i`m sure. Infact yes, have to agree with you. Dads should get some leave too. :)

PARRY said...

Well the six months leave is ok during the maternity period and it is a right step. But a paid leave without work? and that too of 720 days? At most it cud have been an unpaid leave so that it is not misused.And one doesnt know how much researh went through it b4they came to this figure.And were they able to quantify the loss of man days it wil incur?Wat steps they will take so that the govt services dont suffer!
If this is true for govt women employees will it be applied to non govt institutions too. No coz pvt institutions are considered professional and growing ones!!
I may b sounding unsympathtic on this issue but on the one hand we expect sympathy/right from the govt on issues like gender and reservation and wat not and on the other hand we dont fling to criticize the govt for poor services.

Sandhya said...

I had missed this news to read. Thank you. Yes, it is good to know that working mothers can feel relieved now. When I had children and was working, I took 2 months extra loss of pay leave because we had only 3 months' maternity leave. Good.

Renu said...

I agree with Deeplydip ,if we want equality in the genders, we must not ask for any concessions or privileges and free pay...for nobody its good.

Indian Home Maker said...

Your tag is done, you can read on my blog whose butt I'd like to kick :)

my space said...

@parry and deeplydip...i agree that 720 days of paid leave is a lot..but remember it is spread over 18 years! but again its true that many of them would misuse it...so yes unpaid leave or maybe half pay should be given...As a mother I do empathise with all mothers ,as a employer--yes it would be very taxing..

@Renu, piper, Sandhya--see the reaction from you all is different...cos we are all mothers and realise the goodness behind this..ofcourse I do agree wth Paryy and DD that like all good schemes this one too can be and will be misused...but still I would cheer for it!
IHM-Thanx..wil jus chk

Reflections said...

Its a welcome move....and I'd like to think a 'good' mother will never misuse tht leave coz she really knows the value of it.
And yes paternity leave is not something out of the world idea...maybe 3-6 months is but 1 month of paternity is a very good idea coz the new mothers need every support they can get esp from their husbands

Reflections said...

gosh i wrote a long comment but hit the back button before it went thru:-(

Balvinder Singh said...

That's a cute picture