New Delhi: Taking cognizance of the plight of single mothers, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Saturday wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj entreating her to amend the rules that makes mandatory the listing of father’s name in the passport.
Maneka Gandhi’s entreaty came after a mother named Priyanka Gupta filed a petition on change.org demanding the amendment of rules in the passport. Gupta mentioned, “The judiciary has given progressive judgements that say that the father’s name is not required. We tried to convince the passport officer, wrote letters, met senior officers but our request was denied. In the end we were forced to include his name. Every time my daughter looks at her Passport, she sees the name of a person who hurt her, who abandoned her.”
After the petition gained more than 45,000 signatures on social media, Maneka Gandhi took to Twitter to share the same sentiments, “I received the petitions where mother and child have insisted that name of the father should not be mentioned in passport. The petitions involved cases in which the father had abandoned the mother and the court had granted custody of the child to the mother. The current guidelines for passports warrant the name of the father as a mandatory requirement. The Delhi High Court in May 2016 stated that it was not essential to mention the name of the father if the mother and child so desired.”
“Statistics reveal that number of single parents in the country is increasing both by way of conscious decision and by breakdown of marriages. I have requested external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to look into the matter and get necessary modifications in the rules of assurance of passports,” Maneka added.
Also, the daughter of Priyanka Gupta did not hold herself back from sharing her displeasure. “I need my passport, its a necessity but I don’t want it with the name of the man who abandoned us because of me being a girl!..So honestly I hate this guy and seeing his name on my passport sucks.”