Children and their parents living with close relatives under a common roof with food prepared for all the inmates in a single kitchen leading harmoniously a tradition that has been guarded in the land for centuries crops up as a subject in different circles of writers and speakers who invariably bestow paeans on the now-dying tradition while passing regretful remarks on the emerging culture of nuclear family, particularly in urban spaces. We are talking of what is familiar to all as the system of joint family comprising cousins of children, their grandparents, uncles, aunts, even the siblings of some close relatives, all of these constituents easily numbering 25, if not more. The source of income and the wage-earner(s) are central points to sustain the system. Mysuru of yesteryears has hosted a large number of joint families, a feature that was more a rule than exception. The profile of centuries-old family comprising members as stated above is out of favour in our times.
School textbooks in current use may be introducing the concept of a family to the children at primary school stage not without creating confusion about who are accepted as members of the family and who else are guests looking like visitors over snacks and beverage, children being mute witness to the proceedings.
The number of children in a typical family of our times is self-limiting, thanks to factors of economics and living space of dwellings built on sites acquiring which costs a bomb. While population expansion resulting in annual addition of one-plus crore more mouths to be fed and nurtured is more talked about than checking the rise, individual families are obliged to balance their numbers with funds needed to live without economic stress. The provision of maternity leave with salary paid for a few months in case of government employees and staff of some corporates is not exactly a measure supportive of plans to beget children free from familiar hassles. The respective husbands, barring exceptions, have no option but to take over all the motherly chores without hurting obligations at work place.
To make a long story short, a globally leading corporate has just announced the measure of paid parental leave for men (fathers) also while their spouses are bearing the brunt of motherhood. Studies have been cited by the corporate to testify that paid parental leave increases employee satisfaction as well as productivity levels. Note: The term ‘productivity’ strictly refers to performing at work place.
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