Bengaluru: Recognising the role of a single male parent in the upbringing of a child, the Karnataka government announced a progressive move on Friday stating that single male government employees will be entitled to avail paternity leave with immediate effect.

Until now, such leave was applicable only to women, and henceforth, single male parents will also be eligible to get paternity leave for a maximum period of 6 months.

According to the order, ‘single male parents’ includes employees who are unmarried, divorced or are widowers tasked with the responsibility of bringing up a child single-handedly.

The government felt that the requests to allow leave for single men who were raising children was justified, the order said.

Furthermore, the order stated that the if during this leave, employees get married then the paternity leave will automatically cease to exist.

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Bengaluru: In an incident reported from N Devarahalli in Chitradurga district, a specially-abled couple faced social boycott and were slapped with a fine of Rs 30,000 by leaders of the Jogi community. The couple, Savithramma and Manikantha, both hailing from different castes and living with hearing and speech impairments, had entered into an inter-caste marriage three years ago.

Recently, after Savithramma returned to Devarahalli with her husband during her postpartum period, community leaders from her native village expressed strong disapproval of her decision to marry outside her caste. Consequently, they ostracized the couple and imposed a hefty fine on them.

Under the pressure from the community leaders, the couple was compelled to leave the village. Seeking refuge, Savithramma and Manikantha, along with their newborn child, sought shelter at the Santwana Kendra in Challakere before eventually returning to Bengaluru.