An advocate for change


Milind Patole, age 16, has been associated with Action for Equality Programme since January 2010. He is one of the graduates from the pilot batch of the programme.

Milind used to hit his sister, and do domestic chores only when forced. Now, his mother and sister vouch for the changes in him that have been because of the programme. Even after he graduated he continued to participate in the various activities organised under AFE.

He has helped the mentor to enrol more men for the programme by sharing with them what he has learnt, and how he has benefited. He continues to attend the sessions of the new batches and assist the mentor in conducting the film and training events. Milind often uses the examples that are much more relevant to the men in their own community to help the mentor explain a certain topic.

Within his own community he has been actively participating during the action events for helping new advocates and graduates for preparation and conducting the events. Not only in his community, but he voluntarily assisted the mentor to organise action events three other branches.

In the last 12-14 months we have noticed a continued behaviour change in him. His mother, sister and other women in the community often talk about him as an example for others to learn from.

We recognise the fact that giving men like Milind an opportunity will not just benefit them on an individual level personally and professionally but will help the programme by making the concept of gender equality stronger in the communities. More men will continue to look at Milind and want to change. They will join him in this fight and continue acting on it, even if ECF stops working in that community after a few years.

Through AFE and AFE Alumni Action Programme we will continue build the capacity of men like Milind, to change their behaviour, practise equitable attitudes, and reduce violence and discrimination against women in their communities and beyond.