Indian children from broken homes feel the difference

June 13th, 2009 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Like everyone they too have childhood memories, but with a difference - one of their parents was always missing. They are the children of broken homes in a country that takes pride in the joint family system.
“I can say that in my 25 years of life, I have the experience of a 50-year-old man because I had a difficult childhood. I became mature much before my age,” Utkarsh Lodha, an event manager, told IANS.

Lodha said he doesn’t understand the importance of a mother in his life because his parents separated when he was just five years old. “I still don’t know the importance of a mother in my life because I never had one,” Lodha said.

“My dad has given me loads of love and has taken proper care of me and supported me, but somehow I feel that he has failed to understand me. The void still lingers on.”

Most parts of India still largely adhere to the joint family system, but urban areas have seen a shift towards nuclear families. Changing lifestyles have also meant a rise in divorce cases. According to the Delhi district courts website, on an average 10,000 divorce cases are filed every year in the Indian capital.

Prachi Priyadarshini, 22, said you miss something in your life only when you have experienced its presence in your life.

“To be very frank, I don’t miss my father because he was never there. My parents had separated before my birth, hence there was no question of missing something that I never had,” said Priyadarshini, a college student.

“Yes, there was a time when I was in Class 3, my classmates bombarded me with questions related to my father. That day I came back home crying. But that was the last day because after that my mother very slowly explained everything to me. Since then I have become more responsible,” she added.

According to Samir Parikh, consultant psychiatrist at Max Healthcare in New Delhi, for those children whose parents separated when they were very young, the impact is minimum because they don’t feel any attachment for the missing parent.

“Attachments happen when you are close to someone, but in their case they don’t have attachment with the other parents because they have never lived with them. So they do feel a void, but it just happens sometimes, otherwise they are happy-go-lucky people,”Parikh told IANS.

“In other cases, things are different. In those cases, the impact of separation is gauged by various factors like their age, their relationship with their parents or how much they used to communicate with them. In this case, only if individual relationships are maintained, a child can cope up well, otherwise things can go berserk,” he added.

Dheere Likhi, 22, who lives with her mother as her parents separated when she was just one-and-a-half years old, recollects: “I have always felt there was some part missing in my life - little things like riding a cycle with my father or going out on a vacation with my family.

“Also when you have just one person earning in your family, especially your mother, sometimes things become very difficult to manage.”

Though the void these children feel lingers on, 21-year-old Pooja Singh says she always felt that her mother missed out on the company of a man in her life.

“I never missed my father and never felt that he was not there because in my family I had father figures who took care of me and looked after my needs. But it was my mother who missed out the most and I really feel she should have a companion,” Singh told IANS over phone from Chandigarh.

All these people will pour their hearts out on the television show, “Zindagi Live”, to be aired on IBN 7 Sunday at 8 p.m.

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