I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Times of India ~ Care to share! ~ CRISP opens another chapter

Care to share!

25 Apr 2009, 0800 hrs IST, Manigandan K R
Children from broken families in Chennai, longing for the affection of both their parents, may now have something to cheer about. The Children’sRights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), a non-governmental organisation, working for the meaningful and balanced participation of both parents in the lives of children from broken families has just opened its Chennai chapter. “We believe that a child has every right to the affection and care of both its biological parents, even if they are separated,” says Kumar Jahgirdar, the President of CRISP and the former husband of cricketer Anil Kumble’s wife. The NGO is working to popularise a concept called shared parenting, which, if adopted, will give the child an opportunity to spend equal amounts of time with both its biological parents, after their separation. “We started this movement in June last year in Bangalore and already have over a thousand cases in the last six months. A vast majority (around 90 percent) of the pleas are from men seeking help,” points out Jahgirdar, who goes on to add that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had praised their efforts. “At present, in most cases, the men don’t get custody of their children. They are granted visitation rights wherein they can visit their children for just a couple of hours at a public place in the presence of a court official once a week or a month,” says Suresh, an office-bearer of the Chennai chapter of CRISP. Pointing out that men suffer more in such cases, Suresh claims that parental alienation was not uncommon. “Parental alienation occurs when one parent disallows the other parent from communicating with their children for personal vendetta. The dominant parent then brainwashes the child against the other parent. This brings a lot of mental distress and trauma to the child and the alienated parent,” he explains. “We have so far received around 50 complaints from Chennai. Most of them are very genuine. We counsel and suggest solutions towards which the aggrieved party can work. However, we do not suggest any particular counsel as that is left to the discretion of the individual,” says Jahgirdar, who also adds that they are encouraging men to fight for the custody of the children. “We are doing this because we have come across several cases where men are giving up their right to play a role in shaping the lives of their children because the odds are heavily stacked against them. With the laws favouring women, and with no organisation to back men the way women are backed by the government and several non-governmental organisations, men have no other option but to give up their right to spend time with their children,” he adds. However, not everybody agrees with these views. To men getting a raw deal when it comes to custody cases of children, Preethi Asha, a lawyer says, “I don’t agree. There is an age-old fixation that women look after children and men are the breadwinners. This mindset has to change. However, if a man is able to prove to the judges that he has the time to bring up a child well, men too are given adequate time. Before marriage, men and the women have to first try to understand each other. They have to give up their egos. Almost eighty per cent of cases that are filed are because of ego issues,” she says.

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