First cricketer Virat Kohli made headlines for skipping the India-Australia test series to attend the birth of his daughter, Vamika. And now, Bollywood actor Said Ali Khan has opened up on the importance of paternity leaves.
Saif, who is expecting his second child with actor and wife Kareena Kapoor Khan, said that he had always taken paternity leaves, right from the time actor Amrita Singh, his former wife gave birth to his first child Sara Ali Khan. Khan has taken paternity leave during the births of Ibrahim and Taimur as well.
"Who wants to work when you have a newborn at home! If you don’t see your children growing up, you’re making a mistake," the actor said in an interview.
“And I can take time off from work...it’s a privileged position. Rather than follow a 9-to-5 routine, I live like an actor" he further said, addressing his privilege.
Actor Anne Hathaway had earlier stressed upon this absolute necessity of having the spouse around, right from the first formative weeks. Now, prominent figures and celebrities closer home are voicing the same opinion.
In December last year, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli's decision to take paternity leave and return to India after the first Ind-Aus Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to be with actor and wife Anushka Sharma during the birth of his first child ruffled many feathers. Many were upset at Virat, including former cricketers, for "taking a holiday" and denying his "national duty" to play in the Test series.
But many actors and celebrities have since championed the cause of paternity leaves. Australian batsman Steve Smith in December spoke in support of Virat and said that the skipper deserves credit for prioritising the birth of his child over cricket as 'there would have been a lot of pressure' on the India skipper to stay for the entire duration of the ongoing Test series, PTI reported.
Others felt that Kohli's paternity leave will also set a good precedent and even pave the way for the sculpting of mandatory paternity leave laws in institutions like the BCCI.
Many Bollywood celebrities like Shahid Kapoor and Kunal Khemmu are also known to have taken paternity leaves during the birth of their children.
(With inputs from PTI)