Hyderabad: The Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting is fighting for the rights of divorced fathers demanding immediate and equal access to the children. They will urge the new NDA government to roll back the ‘no-fault divorce law’, and for this, the organisation is going to launch a signature campaign, which is to be signed by over 5,000 people across the country. It will be submitted, along with a representation, to the Prime Minister of India, for unbiased laws to protect the interest of the fathers.
“Society views a divorced, separate father as an ATM. Thousands of fathers across the country are not allowed to see their own children for months and years, nor are they allowed to spend some quality time with them. Children have become a bargaining tool for a few greedy women to extort money and property,” said Kumar Jahagirdar, founder, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting.
A panel consisting of victims, a counsellor and members of the organisation spoke on various issues that a divorced father faces and how this act of giving custody to the mother and then not giving the father any freedom to meet his child whenever he or the child desires, can affect the child. “Children of divorced parents, especially, who lack parenting of either the father or mother, are vulnerable to behavioural disorders and depression,” said Rukma Chary, family counselor. “The sole reason why I took up this cause and left my IT job is because I want to fight and earn back the right of a father,” Mr Chary added.
Most of the victims have not met their children for a few years, and if they, did it, was just once or twice a year for an hour or two. Fathers claim that the mothers are misusing the IPC 498A Act and harassing the fathers both emotionally and financially. Madhu Tripathi, an engineer, said, “I remember when I was at the court with my wife and daughter on one of the hearing days and my daughter asked me to take her out somewhere. I had to misguide my wife and abscond with my daughter just to spend some time with her. Later, when the police was informed, I was taken back to the court”.
“Shared parenting should be made mandatory so that the child does not suffer. Courts are generous when women demand something, but not when men do. The judiciary system is biased and there is no emotional empathy shown towards men”, said M.L. Agarwal, an industrialist.