Father’s Day special: Delhi NGO launches ‘selfie with father’ campaign to reunite father and children from broken families.
IT professional Vikram Aggarwal (name changed) still does not know whether his wife gave birth to a baby girl or a boy, eight years ago.
He spends hours surfing social media, hoping to catch a glimpse of his child.
“My wife left me when she was seven months pregnant,” said the 40-year-old.
He visits schools in the locality where his estranged spouse lives, hoping to meet his child one day.
For a number of men who lost touch their children due to broken marriages, have something to look forward to this Father’s Day.
They will celebrate their fatherhood on Sunday, despite not having been with their children for years.
Meeting his seven-year-old daughter for the first time turned out to be an agonising experience for Rakesh Kumar (name changed).
The child could not recognise him and called him “uncle”.
Analysts say India, despite largely being a patriarchal and a male-dominated society, still has a number of cases which point at the existence of male inequality.
“My heart broke,” Kumar said.
“My wife left me just 15 days after our daughter was born. Years passed and when I realised that my wife had no intentions of letting me meet my child, I filed a case for visitation rights.”
Studies on modern Indian families reveal that in recent years, shared parenting has become more popular among estranged couples.
Several fathers like Vikram and Rakesh, who never got the opportunity to be with their children will gather at Connaught Place on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day.
After the success of the “Selfie with Daughter” drive, which tried to highlight a gamut of problems arising out of gender imbalance, these men have planned a special celebration on the special day.
These fathers plan to promote “Selfie with Father” campaign, which would be later uploaded on social media.
The initiative aims to sensitise people about the rights of a father and the importance of a father-child relationship.
A theatre group formed by men allegedly harassed by the wives and the in-laws will perform a street play followed by a public interaction where children would be encouraged to share their special moments with their fathers.
“In today’s era, when everyone seems to be talking about women’s empowerment and there’s huge fanfare around Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, Father’s Day tends to go unnoticed,” Amit Lakhani, coordinator of the Save Indian Family group, told Mail Today.
“There is a need for equally recognising the rights of a father. An independent study done by our NGO shows that fathers are merely reduced to a visitor in 98% of the cases in India and children are the direct sufferers.
In response to alienation from their parents, children tend to feel more anxious and insecure, as well as more hostile and aggressive toward others. Shared parenting should be a law in India as it is in most parts of the world.”