Mens Rights Association,a Pune-based NGO,has seen more than 500 registrations in the three years since its formation,with activists terming the response as a sign of imbalance in society under the guise of women empowerment.
Alleged misuse of Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (anti-dowry law),harassment at workplace and pro-women legal provisions when it comes to giving maintenance to wives after divorce are some of the major reasons for the hardships faced by men,they claimed.
Our association was formed three years ago to help men in distress and take up at different governmental levels the issues faced by them. Our membership crossed the 500-mark in such a short span. On an average,we receive two to three calls daily from men in distress. We help victims of gender imbalance caused due to flip side of women empowerment, said activist Deepak Joshi.
On International Mens Day on Tuesday,the association organised a public awareness campaign through posters and a signature campaign at Balgandharva Square in the city among other areas.
In the past,many powerful patriarchal men considered it unmanly to celebrate the International Mens Day. Such mentality meant men who hit back at abusive women are real men and who take the abuse without reacting are not. But the situation is changing now and men are becoming vocal about their sufferings at the hands of women, Joshi said.
The Mens Rights Association offers personal and legal counselling to affected individuals (mensrightsassociation.org). We arrange a meet every Sunday at 4 pm where motivational speeches are arranged. These sessions help a lot to affected men, said another activist.
The association has not only helped men fight false legal cases filed by their wives,but also advocated the cause of changing the anti-male legal system,he said.
We believe in gender neutral laws unlike a section of feminists who take pride in blaming a section of society for womens problems. We are striving hard to bring a legal system that would do justice to men and ensure gender equality, said an activist.