New Delhi: Does the country need a central body specifically for men on the lines of National Commission for Women?
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working on the issues faced by aggrieved men says it's about time the country gets one.
The founder of the World's Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), Kumar Jahgirdar, quoted NCRB figures to justify his demand that a national body for men should be formed.
National Crime Records Bureau figures show that for every married women committing suicide, two married men are committing suicide due to domestic violence and mostly tortured by wife, he said.
A lot of fathers are committing suicide because they are not able to meet their children, Jahgirdar said.
"Men are more vulnerable than women," he asserts, and says the government should contemplate creating 'National Commission for Men', as the country observes the World Suicide Prevention Day this Monday.
"This country is biased against men," he says, "more men commit suicide than women. Patriarchy affects men more than women. No one talks about suicide by married men. Everyone talks only about married women suicide. Every year, scores of men end their life due to false dowry disputes."
Interestingly, two BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh -- Harinarayan Rajbhar and Anshul Verma -- also recently demanded that a commission should be set up to look into the complaints of men "suffering at the hands of their wives" due to "misuse" of laws.
Jahgirdar said there was also a need for a dedicated 24/7 helpline for men.
"We demand setting up of a National commission for men in line with the National Commission for Women to register complaints filed by men and take necessary action against women who misuse laws or harass husbands. We also want a dedicated 24/7 helpline for men in distress at the police commissioner's office in every city," he said. In 2015, 1,33,623 suicides in India were reported, of which 91,528 (68 per cent) were by men, 42,088 were by women, according to data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Of the 86,808 married people who committed suicide in 2015, 64,534 (74 per cent) were men, the NCRB data shows.
India should have a National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in line with 28 other countries that have successfully implemented it, he said.
Policy changes should also be effected for removing the stigma attached with people seeking counselling from psychiatrists, he said.