Biological dads seek changes in child custody rights
In India, fathers are left out and are often misrepresented after separation
Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) foundation here on Saturday highlighted the problems faced by children from broken families and called for a re-look into the laws concerning child custody rights and a change in society’s mindset towards fathers.
“Do I really need a court order to see my own children? I am a responsible father and I should have the right to take care of my children and be a part in their upbringing,” said Sayyad Javed, a professor from Canada who wants the right to see his three young children who have been kept away from him due to family disputes.
Jayant TK, who was also going through a similar situation of being deprived from seeing his children, highlighted the United Nations Child Rights Convention 1989, to which India is a signatory, mentioning the right of a child to preserve his or her identity. “The state is duty-bound to ensure that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, unless it is in the best interests of child. But still some judicial apparatus is insensitive to it,” he said.
“I was not allowed to enter the school premises to see my own daughter. I am a responsible father and how can a school blatantly flout the rights of a father?” said Raju Reddy, who had to get a high court order to register his name as the father of his daughter.
CRISP president Kumar V Jahgirdar said that more than 5,000 members have joined the organisation. According to CRISP the practice of alienating and inter-parental child abduction is child abuse.
They demanded reforms in the child custody rights, separate guardian courts in all cities and addition of more such programmes to ensure meaningful and balanced participation of both the parents for emotional and psychological well- being of the children.
A CRISP study observes that children of separated parents show symptoms of psychological maladjustment, lower academic performance and often go through traumatic mental conflicts due to one parent’s influence over the other.
Dr Pereira stressed on the need to set the standards for engagement of parents in schools using the guidelines from standards of excellence programme created by US-based National PTA.
He said that he would present the document for raising such standards in educational institutions to National Accreditation Board for Education and Training, Quality Council of India and the Association of Schools.