A good samaritan files an RTI to get details of acquiring a passport, after a 21-year-old orphan was denied one for not possessing a birth certificate
After MiD DAY highlighted the plight of Sandeep Kamble (21), an orphan who was denied a passport as he could not produce a birth certificate, Rajeev Agarwal (see pic), professor of Physics at Akaash Institute, New Delhi, filed an RTI asking what protocols should be followed for an orphan wanting a passport.
Agarwal was moved when he read the report published in MiD DAY ('Denied passport for being an orphan') on June 23. He sent the query to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on July 15. Soon thereafter, The Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi swung into action and replied on how an orphan can procure a birth certificate. The reply stated that 'One may obtain birth certificate after following the procedure provided in the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, and then apply for passport with the birth certificate. Birth certificate is compulsory for all the passport applications whose date of birth falls on or after 26 January 1989.
Agarwal, said, "I was touched after reading MiD DAY's article on Sandeep Kamble. He is an orphan but he is a studious boy and is studying engineering. I was shocked to learn that the government couldn't provide him a passport and birth certificate. I filed an RTI to the PMO, and got a reply from the Ministry of External affairs in the month of July. I dispatched it to Kamble immediately. I hope he gets his passport as soon as possible."
Fr Noel Pinto, head of the orphanage, from Sneha Sadan, Andheri said, "Kamble made three attempts to get the birth certificate from his village, but each time he was denied citing lack of documents. However, Agarwal's letter has helped us know how to go about getting the birth certificate of an orphan. This is not just about Kamble's case, but every orphan in the country."
Kamble, after receiving all the details from the RTI, is now applying for the fourth time to secure a birth certificate, and is positive all his documents are in order.
Securing a birth certificate for an orphan
According to the provisions of this act, any birth, which has not been registered at the time of birth or within one year, may be registered later after following rules. The same procedure is applicable for orphans also.