"Every time my daughter looks at her passport, she sees the name of a person who hurt her, who abandoned her," the petitioner said.

After seeing online petition Maneka Gandhi asks MEA to allow for passport without fathers nameByJovianeye, via Wikimedia Commons
news Friday, July 15, 2016 - 19:27

In a significant development, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has taken note of an online petition by a single mother asking that her daughter's passport be granted without providing her (the applicant's) father's name.

Priyanka Gupta had launched an online petition on Change.org after her daughter's application for a passport was denied because they did not want the name of the father on the document. 

The minister in her response said that she has asked Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs, to get necessary modifications done in the rules for issuance of passports.

She also stated that "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 father's name 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 or by breakdown of marriages."

In the petition started a few weeks ago, Priyanka said that her husband had abandoned them because she gave birth to a girl child. 

"He never looked back and doesn’t even care whether we’re dead or alive," the single parent wrote.

She added, "My daughter did her schooling with my name only. Her voter ID card, Aadhar card and bank account have my name. Why was only the passport denied? My daughter and I were forced to go through mental agony and torture." 

Even though they tried to convince the passport official and also approached senior officials, their request was denied and so they were "forced" to include her husband's name on the passport. 

"Every time my daughter looks at her passport, she sees the name of a person who hurt her, who abandoned her," she said urging the government to look into the issue that is faced by numerous single parents in the country. 

Priyanka’s daughter had also posted a comment on the petition saying:

 

Her petition, as on Friday evening, had received over 43,000 signatures.

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