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Bangalore: The rising divorce rate in the IT sector
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore
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August 02, 2007 14:26 IST

The Information Technology boom in Bangalore is not unknown. However, everything comes with a price.

Statistics reveal that in 2006 alone, 1,246 cases of divorce pertaining to those in the IT sector have landed in the matrimonial courts in Bangalore.

Financial freedom, lack of time at home, erratic working hours, work pressure, financial security and stress are being seen as the main reasons for this fiasco.

The worrying factor is that the number of divorce cases pertaining to those in the IT sector has seen a steady rise since 2003.

In 2003, the number of cases from the IT sector was 283 while in 2004 it went upto 526. Statistics available show that in 2005 the figure went up to 946 and in 2006 the figure was 1,246.

The year 2007 has not been too kind. The statistics available till June 2007 state that the number of divorce cases from the IT sector is 828 already.

Experts state that the figure is likely to increase by the end of the year.

What is more shocking is that divorce cases from the IT sector seem to be contributing to the number in a big way.

In the year 2003, the total number of divorce cases, including the ones from the IT sector was 1,280 while in 2004 it was 1,240. In 2005 and 2006, the figures were 1,860 and 2,493 respectively.

The State Women's Commission has woken up to this issue and states that drastic measures have to be taken or else there would be more single persons that married couples in the city.

The Chairperson of the Commission Pramila Nesargi says that in most cases she has come across, marital discord is due to an unhappy physical relationship.

"Viewing the computer for long hours has proven to cause impotency," she adds. She also says the commission is planning to visit the IT companies and take stock of the situation.

She says she wants to inspect working conditions and would also make suggestions to change the working pattern of the employees so that they get more time at home.

Vishwanath B N, an advocate who is handling at least five cases pertaining to couples from the IT sector, says that these couples do not even try to reconcile and are in a hurry to end the marriage. There is very little that can be done to save the marriage after it comes to courts.

Something ought to be done to try and prevent the marriage from breaking up.

Sanjanthi Sajan, who runs a boutique matrimonial firm in Bangalore which has handled several such cases, says that at her firm the basic idea is avoid reaching the courts. She says that she has hired counsellors who will talk to couples to avoid going in for a divorce.

The pendency rate in such cases is not high either. Out of 3,829 cases relating to the IT sector from 2003 onwards till date, around 1,700 cases have been disposed of thanks to the couples opting for a mutual consent.

The remaining cases are pending since as per the matrimonial law, one year time is granted for reconciliation.

Shalini P Shetty, advocate, says that financial stability is a major problem. The couples do not try and work out the marriage as they are confident they can lead a life without each other as both are financially stable.

Shilpa whose husband works in a leading IT firm has now sought divorce on the ground that her husband does not spend enough time with her.

He used to return late in the night and he is too tired even to talk. The marriage was becoming pointless, she adds.

Sujith's is a different case. His wife is an IT professional and he says that she is too busy working and returns only late in the night.

The loneliness was too much to handle. Sujith works in a PR firm and finishes work by around 6 pm. However his wife used to return only at 11 pm and would leave the house by 8 am.

Psychiatrists are of the view that it is the stress which gets at these young couples.

Late working hours affects their sexual life and hence, they decide to part ways. The need of the hour is to strike the right balance between work and family.

Shilpa argues that with the kind of work pressure it is impossible to get the right balance. Companies should take the initiative and ensure that their employees get more time at home.

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