Birth certificate goof-up rectified: Little Misba is finally a girl again

Updated: Jan 25, 2015, 09:44 IST | Chetna Sadadekar |

mid-day report pushes BMC, which had been dragging its feet for four years, to correct name and gender of 5-yr-old Mumbai girl in her birth certificate; her father got corrected certificate yesterday

Barely a fortnight after mid-day’s report on how the BMC had been putting five-year-old Misba Sayyed’s education in jeopardy by dragging its feet for four years on correcting her name and gender in her birth certificate, the civic body rectified the errors and gave her a proper certificate yesterday.


Akbar Sayyed, who has been running from pillar to post since 2010 to get the birth certificate to reflect that his daughter Misba is not Misbha Sayyed, a boy, said things changed for him after the mid-day report. He said he was happy that the family can now finally submit the proper certificate in Misba’s school in Malwani, Malad, so that she can continue her education.

mid-day’s report on December 4
mid-day’s report on December 4

Akbar said that, after the report was published, he was called by the leader of the opposition in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar, who ensured that the errors were corrected in just a few days. Also, unlike in the past — when he was treated rudely by BMC employees his visits to the ward office were rather pleasant.

“I used to go to the ward office almost thrice a week, but after the mid-day report, the leader of the opposition called me and got the work done. I got a call yesterday asking me to collect the certificate from the citizens’ facilitation centre of F-North ward. The health officer was also very helpful and I was not treated rudely, the way I was before. It was smooth sailing.”

BMC speak
Charulata Jakhia, the Medical Officer from the health department at the F-North (Matunga) ward office, said, “The errors have been rectified and the certificate has been issued. There might have been a confusion earlier but the problem was solved after I was informed about the issue.”

Misba’s family members had been making repeated rounds of the Sion Hospital where Misba was born and the H-East (Andheri) and F-North (Matunga) ward officer of the BMC since 2010. While the Sion Hospital officials gave them the relevant records, those at the H-East ward office told the family after repeated visits that they didn’t have any documents pertaining to Misba.

In 2012, someone at the F-North office finally said they had found Misba’s register number and asked Akbar to come to collect the changed certificate, but when he went again, no one helped him to get the errors rectified.

Officials also began to behave increasingly rudely with him. To make matters worse, the authorities at the English-medium school in which Misba studies had said that they may not be able to allow her to enter Std II next year and study further if they did not get the corrected birth certificate by January.

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