Kolkata: Lakhs of kids face parental alienation and estrangement from one of their parents due to disputes among couples every year. While these children suffer silently, very little is done to look after their emotional distress, said speakers at a seminar to commemorate Child Protection Day and spread awareness among the people, judiciary, legislature and administration on shared parenting.
Titled ‘Child Protection — Shared Parenting As a Way Ahead’, the event was organized by Ayushman Initiative for Child Rights (AICFR) in association with Initiative for Scientific and Public Awareness Target (ISPAT) and Kalyan Kumar Mitra Education and Research Society (KKMERS ) at ICCR on Thursday.
In 2015, the law commission made exhaustive recommendations for amendments in Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act (HMGA) of 1956 and Guardian and Wards Act of 1890 and suggested shared parenting to protect rights of such kids.
Arijit Mitra, honorary secretary of AICFR, said the general idea about child protection revolves around trafficking and sexual abuse but it is also important to ensure protection of rights of kids, who suffer from parental alienation and trauma when they get separated from either of their parents.
Justice Samaresh Banerjea, former judge of Calcutta HC, said bickering among couples affects kids tremendously and unhappy childhood is a dangerous thing.
This was followed by a panel discussion on shared parenting, causes and consequences, merits and demerits.
Ananya Chakraborty Chatterjee, chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, “It is necessary to break gender stereotypes and any discussion on shared parenting should focus on sharing responsibilities.”
Saheli Ganguly, consultant clinical psychologist, feels that kids are mostly affected when they are used for spying over parents. “It is best to accept and make the child understand that his/her mother and father are no longer ‘best friends’ but as parents they are always there,” said Ganguly. Parenting consultant Payel Ghosh said the basis of many juvenile crimes and negative behaviours can be traced to unhappy childhood due to parental separation in family.