In Gujarat, harried husbands turn to women’s helpline

In Gujarat, harried husbands turn to women’s helpline
In Gujarat, harried husbands have turned to the 181 Abhayam helpline started by the state government for women in distress. (TOI illustration)

VADODARA: Actor Kiran Kumar only had his best buddies as probable saviours when he sang “Mujhe meri biwi se bachao ( save me from my wife) in the 1973 flick Aaj Ki Tazaa Khabar.

But in Gujarat, men have found a way out to voice their domestic squabbles and seek help. Ironically, they have turned to the 181 Abhayam helpline started by the state government for women in distress.

The helpline is flooded with calls by harried husbands seeking help. In fact, the data of calls made to Abhayam helpline in the last six months shows that nearly 25% of the total calls were made by men.

The reasons for calls range from constant nagging to threats of filing domestic violence complaints. In many cases, men were even seeking help for negotiating a truce between the warring duo of wife and mother.

Abhayam project head Narendrasinh Gohil told TOI, “Our call analysis showed that majority of men complained of a demanding wife who failed to understand their financial capacity. Then there are callers who want us to intervene in tiffs between their wives and mothers.”

In Gujarat, harried husbands turn to women’s helpline

Many men report mental distress after being dragged into such fights. However, other than just counseling them, or talking to their wives in some cases, there is not much that 181 staff can do.

Sources at the helpline revealed one of the initial cases that they received from Anand in September last year. The caller’s wife had allegedly filed a false complaint of domestic violence and demand of dowry. According to the caller, regular fights between the wife and his mother had led to the exaggerated complaint.

“We have trained our executives to handle women’s problems. We were not ready for taking calls from men but as numbers started increasing we understood that the trend is here to stay,” said Roma Jamshed, who heads the 181 Abhayam team.

Source: The Times of India

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