Samajhdar Jodidar is a community-based intervention with men in rural Maharashtra in India that is aimed at reducing gender disparities at the family and community level. The intervention is based on the results achieved from earlier work done in Uttar Pradesh where ‘role model-activists’ were found to be a crucial inspiration for gender-related changes among men. Through participant observations and in-depth interviews in one village, the article explores the changes that have taken place among men, focusing on the ‘animator’ who has been trained as the role model-activist. The article compares the changes in the animator with the masculinity of ‘wrestlers’ in two neighbouring villages, who form an idealised masculinity for the region. The article argues that such interventions can lead to substantive improvements in women's status without compromising men's ‘masculinities’.