On Saturday, 14th June 2008, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi Statue, MG Road demanding the children rights. People from all walks of life including Software engineers, Doctors, NRI’s and Businessmen will participate in this protest.

CRISP is a Non Governmental Organization(NGO) founded recently by a group of citizens, who recognize the serious effects of “parental alienation” on children due to single parent families on account of divorce or separation. CRISP also focuses on furthering the rights of a children to remain connected with both parents. While most NGOs pertaining to children deal with issues related to child labour, education etc we deal with issues related to unquestionable right of children to be cared for by both biological parents.

Our aims and objectives are based on research findings worldwide which indicate that children do best when both parents are actively involved in their lives, even after separation or divorce. We believe that conflict between parents will get reduced and the mental and emotional health of children will improve, when divorcing parents can be assured of equal and meaningful contact with their children with mutual cooperation.

According to CRISP, Parents contemplating divorce should be given manadatory counselling on “shared parenting” and the benefits there of by a panel of experts supervised by the family court. This will eliminate unnecessary child custody battles and stress to the parents and the child and also wasting of precious time of the courts.

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, assuring the child that it is all right to ignore the other parent.” This brings a lot mental distress and trauma to the child and the alienated parent.

Indian legal system is still based on patriarchal mindset, which considers fathers as not capable of nurturing the children. However, today many fathers are competent of taking care of the needs of the children for normal upbringing. When women can multitask by going to work after domestic chores and also take care of children, it is baseless to say that men/fathers are not capable of taking care of children. With rise in number of working parents in nuclear family setup, father’s involvement in raising the children is a must. Otherwise, the child is simply left at the mercy of servants and strangers in day care centers and exposed to all sorts of child abuse.

The mindsets in Indian legal system has to change by taking account of the current social situation. Shared parenting is recognised in many western countries.

CRISP demands an Early Intervention Project where divorcing parents would have to meet with a panel of experts to clarify issues such as custody, finance, education and children’s upbringing before proceeding with the divorce decree.

“Studies have shown that children who go through their parents’ divorce have

  • more conduct problems,
  • symptoms of psychological maladjustment,
  • lower academic achievement,
  • social difficulties and problematic relationships with both parents.

To make matters worse, many parents often influence their children to choose one parent over the other and this is often traumatic for the child and this cruelty on the children has to be stopped immediately.

Strengthen Fatherhood and Families: Since 1960, the number of American children without fathers in their lives has quadrupled, from 6 million to more than 24 million. 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. As the proverb goes,“One father is better than 100 teachers.”

In United States of America, Statistics reported tells that Children from fatherless homes are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away from home.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape.
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances (become drug addicts)
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
  • 3 million teenage girls have sexually transmitted diseases
  • At least 1 out of 4 teenagers (between 14years to 19years) suffers from sexually transmitted diseases.

It is important for all citizens of the nation to wake up to stop a future social catastrophe as it has happened in western countries. We have to learn from the social experiments in America and Europe and stop repeating the mistakes western countries did in last 30 years. Today, billions of dollars are spent in those countries to tackle the behavioural problems. In fact, this is a major issue in most election campaigns in those countries as billions are spent on it. If a child is denied care of father as at present and if India becomes a fatherless society, then it will simply create more criminals, rapists and drug addicts in next 15 years (as shown in the statistics above). The entire social fabric and culture will be in ruins and the damage will be irreversible to our society. So, CRISP members want to stop this social catastrophe and save the future generations from narrow mindsets.

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 the breakup of a family keeping in mind the best interests of the child.

As custody battles between parents increase, counselling of separating or divorced parents can have a positive effect on the overall development of the child.

CRISP wants to highlight:

    That joint custody is the best outcome for children whose parents are separated. Child needs the support of both biological parents. Both biological parents should be responsible for the emotional and psychological well-being of their children.

    That “Interparental Child Abduction” is Child Abuse. Often one parent takes the child to another country without the permission of the other parents or the courts. It is known as parental abduction and is a criminal act under international laws including Hague Convention.

    That the practice of alienating the child from the other parent is Child Abuse.

    That grandparents should have rights and access to their grandchildren.

    That gender bias should be eliminated from family law and from future legislation.

    That parties should resist from using gender biased laws to wreak vengeance on the non-custodial parent.

Demands by CRISP – Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting:

  • Ensuring meaningful and balanced participation of both parents in the lives of children in case of separation of the parents.
  • Single mothers should be given mandatory counselling to increase involvement of biological father in the child’s life.
  • Existing visitation schedules to increase and enhance the role of “non-custodial parents” in the best interest of the child.
  • Reforms in  the existing child custody laws, practices for equal parenting sensitised to consider child’s ne.
  • 50% of the custody to be given to the fathers.
  • Govt must allocate funds for conducting research on the adverse impact on fatherless children.
  • Creating a Ministry for children by separating the existing Women and Child (WCD) ministry. A separate union minister for children must be appointed.

On 14th June, CRISP activists from various parts of India will conduct a massive protest in front of Gandhi Statue, on MG Road Bangalore.  The time of the protest is from 10:00am till 1:00pm. About 150 to 200 men, women, elders and children are expected to participate in the protest. There are 30 to 40 men and women traveling from Hyderabad, Chennai and other parts of South India to participate in this protest. Most of them are scientists, NRIs, Software Engineers, Doctors and Business persons. The protests will be held every month in different parts of India till Indian parliament amends the laws to Save Indian Children and prevent social catastroph in future.