NGO lists demands on eve of dads' day
New Delhi: A child rights NGO has aired several demands on Father's Day eve, including the establishment of a separate child welfare ministry, claiming "fatherless" children are increasingly being drawn towards crime.
The country now has a women and child development ministry.
Quoting "research & studies done by multiple organisations across the globe", the Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (Crisp) said children deprived of a father's care are:
5 times likelier to commit suicide;
9 times likelier to drop out of high school;
14 times likelier to end up as rapists;
20 times likelier to end up in prison or become a drug addict; and
32 times likelier to run away from home.
In a statement from Bangalore, Crisp president Kumar Jahgirdar urged the Centre to meet the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights' recent recommendations, some of which are:
• Child access and custody guidelines should be framed;
• A mental health professional and a trained child psychologist must be attached to each family court;
• Attending a "parenting workshop" should be made compulsory for all parent couples when they file custody petitions;
• Judicial academies must train judges who deal with child custody cases in subjects like parental alienation, personality disorders and child psychology;
• The law and justice ministry must include a study of parental alienation in the law curriculum.
Jahgirdar regretted that the commission had rejected Crisp's "main demand" for a law declaring parental alienation as a form of child abuse.
Crisp wants the government to implement the Law Commission report of May 2015, which recommended that the father and the mother be given joint custody rights over their children in case of a dispute.
Currently, the court decides on the custody of the child in each case, although the law slightly favours the father.
Crisp also wants the law amended to enable family courts to dispose of all child custody cases within six months of the petition being filed.
Its other demands include punishment for parents who flout court orders on child visitation rights, with the custody transferred to the other parent.
Crisp wants both sets of grandparents given equal access to their grandchildren.
The NGO noted that divorce rates were rising, especially among the urban educated, and that more than 25,000 divorce cases were pending before Bangalore's family courts alone.