THURSDAY is International Men’s Day. Founder Dr Jerome Teelucksingh is urging people to make men feel special on that day.
“Let them know they are appreciated. They don’t want flowers and chocolate. All they want is appreciation.”
Teelucksingh said this is the 21st year in which men are being recognised. He is dedicating this year’s celebration to the “invisible men” who are doing so much but not really recognised for their efforts.
On November 19 from 6.30 pm, the International Men’s Day (IMD) organisation will host a virtual forum on Zoom in collaboration with the United Nations Association of TT (UNATT) and the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) to commemorate the occasion.
The panel will include Teelucksingh, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, along with other distinguished local and international presenters.
Nalis will also conclude its four-day observance of International Men’s Day with a virtual presentation starting at 11 am.
The initiative has spread to other Caribbean and international countries and, on Thursday, there will be conferences in Canada and Africa commemorating IMD.
On Sunday, the organisation held its first vintage cars, sports cars and, vans, trucks and motorcycle rally in San Fernando, simultaneously with similar observances in St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent, Jamaica, Grenada and Cayman Island.
Speaking with the Newsday on Wednesday, Teelucksingh said the Caribbean contact was made through Jason Small and for 2021 more countries are expected to come on board.
Teelucksingh said this year's focus would be on “the invisible men who are never acknowledged, the invisible men who don’t make it to the front pages of our newspaper. Invisible men who don’t win awards or trophies.
“Sometimes you talk to men and they have tears in their eyes. They say their children don’t appreciate them. Others have problems with the courts, they can’t see their children and some mothers turn their children against the fathers.”
He said men have a multitude of problems and through the IMD he is hoping to bring about positivity and peace.
He recalled launching the IMD in 1999 on November 19 to commemorate the birthday of his father, Rev Daniel Teelucksingh – his role model – and to remember that historic day when the Strike Squad brought unity to the nation through the sport of football.
“What the Strike Squad did on that day to unify this nation could never be duplicated by any politician.”
Teelucksingh said he wants to replicate that feeling because too many young boys and men are without role models or end up with the wrong role models.
He encouraged men and boys not to seek out celebrities to be their role models but towards their homes, communities for the teacher, principal, father, uncle, big brother, ordinary people and the working class for examples.