New Delhi: Extending her support to single mothers of India, union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has requested foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to amend the existing passport rules that make listing of father's name a mandatory requirement.
Maneka has made the request after Priyanka Gupta, a single mother from Delhi, started a petition for the same on change.org.
Seeking the change in passport rules, Priyanka Gupta , in her petition, disclosed how the passport office reportedly insisted on having her husband's name in her daughter's passport, despite the fact that the husband had abandoned them.
"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, " Priyanka Gupta said in her petition.
Coming forward in support of the demand for change in passport rules, Maneka Gandhi , in a series of tweets, said on Friday, " Have received 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," she added.
The petitions involved cases in which the father had abandoned the mother & the Court had granted custody of the child to the mother. (2/6)— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 15, 2016
The Delhi HC on July 15, 2016, stated that it was not essential to mention the name of the father if the mother & child so desired. (4/6)— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 15, 2016
Statistics reveal that no. of single parents in the country is increasing both by way of conscious decision & by breakdown of marriages. 5/6— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 15, 2016
Priyanka Gupta's daughter Garima has also posted an appeal with the petition which says , "I need my passport, it’s 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."
More than 45,000 people have supported Priyanka Gupta’s petition in last two weeks.