Don’t force kids of single moms to name father on degree, caste documents: Maneka | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Don’t force kids of single moms to name father on degree, caste documents: Maneka

This move comes close on the heels of the NDA government amending passport rules to do away with an official requirement for single mothers and divorcees to get their husbands’ signature as well as a no-objection certificate while applying for their children’s passport.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2017 11:56 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
It was on Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi’s request that the ministry of external affairs earlier decided to streamline passport norms for single women.
It was on Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi’s request that the ministry of external affairs earlier decided to streamline passport norms for single women. (File photo/PTI)

Children of separated or divorced women should be able to get their degree and caste certificates without having to disclose their fathers’ names in the application forms, Union women and child development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi has said.

Gandhi has written to her counterparts in the human resource development (HRD) and social justice and empowerment ministries, requesting a change in guidelines to ensure that divorced women are not denied their rights.

At present, wards of separated or divorced women are required to disclose their fathers’ identities in application forms to avail of degree and caste certificates.

The move comes close on the heels of the NDA government amending passport rules to do away with an official requirement for single mothers and divorcees to get their husbands’ signature as well as a no-objection certificate while applying for their children’s passport.

“Breakdown of marriage and separation of husband and wife are now a reality that we cannot ignore. But… women in such situations often do not get their rights and entitlements due to certain loopholes in the procedures/law,” Gandhi said in her letter.

Gandhi wrote to HRD minister Prakash Javadekar after receiving several complaints about divorced and separated women facing problems in obtaining degree certificates for their children without naming their father in application forms. She has shot off a similar letter to social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot regarding caste certificates.

The WCD minister said she saw no reason to deny divorced women this facility if they didn’t want their children to know about their biological father while growing up. “Keeping in view the (sentiments) of the single/separated mother, we need to make a provision for this purpose by changing the rules/guidelines. I shall be grateful if you would look into this matter for an early resolution,” Gandhi said in her letters to Javadekar and Gehlot.

It was on Gandhi’s request that the ministry of external affairs had earlier decided to streamline passport norms for single women. The WCD minister took up the matter with foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj after Priyanka Gupta, a Delhi-based single mother, launched an online campaign against the authorities’ demand that she disclose her estranged husband’s name while applying for her daughter’s passport.