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Vikash Sharma

Millions of people recently witnessed the grand homecoming of Lord Jagannath on the occasion of Bahuda Yatra on Saturday. However, there are a lot of fathers who are anxiously waiting for the homecoming of their children in Odisha.

Such aggrieved fathers, who are unable to meet or see their children due to legal hurdles following marital disputes, launched ‘Hope Walk’ to Puri yesterday.

Holding placards against parental alienation, the aggrieved fathers travelled to Puri from Bhubaneswar with a prayer on their lips.

“We cannot see our children. We launched the hope walk to pray, cry and ask the Lord when there will be homecoming of our children,” said Sanjeen Panda, an aggrieved father.

According to Panda, there are millions of fathers in the country who are alienated from their kids and going through trauma. A child needs the support and love from both their parents and even if the mother has the custody, a father should not be deprived of access.

Through the hope walk, the aggrieved fathers aimed at creating awareness that every child needs both the parents and parental alienation is a form of child abuse.

“We need to understand and introduce shared parenting laws. Whenever there is marital discord, even if the custody of a child is with mother, access also needs to be given to fathers for visitation. There is no way to reach out to our children unless there are shared parenting laws,” said another aggrieved father.

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