Moved by the plight of a single mother, women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has urged external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to amend passport rules that make listing the father’s name a mandatory requirement.
Priyanka Gupta, a single mother from Delhi, had started a petition on change.org after the passport office reportedly insisted on having her husband’s name in her daughter’s passport, despite the fact that the husband abandoned them. In her petition, Priyanka said, “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.”
On Friday, Gandhi urged Swaraj to make necessary changes in rules. She tweeted, “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,” the minister added.
Over 45,000 people supported Priyanka in her demand over the past two weeks and more support continues to pour in.
Priyanka’s daughter Garima also posted an appeal with the petition, “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