Teaching men to share, care, cook

Teaching men to share, care, cook

Baduku Community College

A college in Bengaluru has taken it upon itself to teach young men how to take a more active role in the household and family life. Baduku Community College has introduced a workshop titled ‘Reserved for Men’ where they teach men between 21 to 40 years the skills and values traditionally assigned to women.

Baduku Community College is run by a 25-year-old organisation called Samvada that works with youth from marginalised groups and offers courses in fields ranging from teaching to organic farming and waste management. 

“We realised that men needed some specific skills and perspective to build a healthy relationship. Our old students too said that they wanted a course like this,” says Murali Mohan, principal of Baduku Community College whose idea it is. 

“In the workshops, we teach men things like how to take care of the members of the family, including the elderly and children, how to take care of their partners during menstruation and pregnancy, sharing of both household chores and household finances, cooking and so on,” says Mandeep, who is part of the organising team. He adds that it was imperative to talk about gender equity from the perspective of men for them to be able to relate to it.

Other aspects covered in the programme include self-expression, resolving conflicts at home, providing emotional and physical care, sexuality, managing careers, memories of childhood, confusions about marriage, dreams or fears of parenthood and so on. 

The workshop involves memory work, theatre exercises, role play, body movement, debates, group discussions and film screenings and talks about what it means to be one in this day and age. 

The workshop is being run in three centres now — one at the Baduku Community College itself while the other two are in collaboration with city-based institutions. Each batch has 15 students. The medium of session is both in Kannada and English.

Says Srinath T, a participant, “Though we talk about gender equality, women are hardly given importance in this male-dominated society. Cooking and cleaning is not just reserved for women. Being the other half, it is our duty to share the responsibilities.”

“I am also a literature student at National College. Since the classes are scheduled only on weekends, it does not affect my daily routine. I am very proud to be a part of this course and I wish more men would attend this too,” he adds.

The principal, noting that many people had applied for the course, added that they were open to hosting more such workshops in the future depending on the number of people who showed interest. Though the workshops are already underway, interested participants can call or email the college and they will be contacted for the next batch.

 Phone: 9880050022, 9972089471, 8050599001

Email: youngmen.samvada@gmail.com