Indian society believes that marriages are made in heaven. The society is contemporarily facing such a crisis of marital discords that one is tempted to change the belief about marriages to 'marriages made be made in the heaven but they are broken on this earth only'. Yes the very concepts of happy marriage seem to be facing rough weather in our developing nation. Otherwise divorces were unheard of, now they are becoming a common feature.
The worst victims of the marital discords are the innocent children, whose parents decided to separate like the way they had decided to unite. The problem seems to be on the increase.
A group of people from different walks of life in India, facing the problem of infringement of a child's right due to high handedness of either parent launched a Non Government Organization (NGO) Children's Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting (CRISP) on 14th June 2008 at Bangalore. While addressing the Press on 13th November 2008 during the launch of the Lucknow chapter of CRISP, Kumar V. Jahgirdar a Stock Broker by profession and President of the CRISP highlighted the aims and objectives of the NGO. He said, our objective is to ensure that child of such estranged parents gets to spend quality time with both the parents, for which they have come out with the term 'Shared Parenting'. He emphasized that since the child is the product of both the parents, it is their responsibility to ensure that the child gets the attention of both, despite their differences. He emphasized the need for the child to remain 'connected' with both the parents was significant because a child reared by single parent often becomes a problem child. Quoting the studies carried out in the USA he said the number of children from fatherless homes has risen from six million in 1960 to 24 million at present. The study says he said 'children without fathers in their lives are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.' One father is better than 100 teachers he said.
Jahgirdar himself is a sufferer on this account, after his wife divorced him and took away their child. Somehow good sense prevailed and the couple mutually decided to try the concept of 'shared parenting'. Thus the child in a week spends two days with dad and five with mom. This way the innocent child doesn't feel the absence of either parent he informed.
Since the traditional values and training that marriage ties are sacred and have to be maintained are gradually changing or rather say dying, the problem of divorces is on the rise. CRISP endeavors to enlighten the divorced/separated couples by informing the society about the impact of divorce on the psyche of the child. Talking cue from the US society where the number of single parents increased almost in a logarithmic scale in 30 years and also noticing that billions of dollars are spent today there to tackle the behavioral problems of the single parent child a group of these dedicated youngsters has come forward and launched CRISP.
CRISP is dedicated in putting efforts to the creation of a judicial system, legislative system and public awareness, which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce and breakup of a family keeping in mind the best interests of the child.
In order to reach their goals, CRISP endeavors to highlight that joint custody is the best outcome for children whose parents are separated. For proper mental development of the child both parents are required. Thus the divorcing parents must give a thought to the emotional and psychological needs of the child and the parents should devise ways and means to ensure fulfillment of such needs.
It was noticeable that CRISP included a majority of 'fathers' who became victims of the law of the land, where mother is considered to be the natural guardian of a child and hence given the custody of the child. Such fathers, deprived of their off springs have raised the concern about future of the fatherless children. However, they claim that amongst their member mothers who have been denied the right to meet their children are also there.
CRISP is already on the web at www.crisp-india.org and people facing the problem of divorce and its consequences can seek help and also air their views said Jahgirdar.
It laudable that the members of the society are coming forward with NGOs to act as counselors and to solve the problem of single parent children, but the fact remains that if there is a counseling system to make the fighting couple realize that their ego clash will ruin the future of their child, may in the long run help the society more.