Taking up the cause of orphans, a Chandigarh-based lawyer-activist HC Arora has written to the Centre and the Haryana government to amend rules to benefit the inmates of orphanages lacking birth certificates.
Arora said that if the government failed to act within a month, he would approach the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek relaxation in the relevant rules for orphans.
On Monday, Hindustan Times had reported how talented youth were deprived of bright opportunities due to lack of birth certificates.
A 23-year-old Vandana and Vishwas , a student of Class 9, were among several others who were suffering for want of certificates.
Vandana’s dreams of studying management abroad were dashed last year when she learnt that in the absence of a birth certificate, she could not get a passport.
A Canada-based family, hailing from Karnal, had offered to sponsor her for higher studies in North America.
Orphanage inmate Vishwas is a promising roller skater who had won a bronze medal in state championship last year, but in the absence of a birth certificate, he cannot compete in the right category.
The registration of every birth and death is compulsory under these provisions. Some of the orphan children do have their date of birth on high school certificates, but a birth certificate issued by the municipality of the local health jurisdiction where the child is born is what counts for several official documentations.
Since most of the inmates at the orphanages are admitted after they are found abandoned by the district authorities, it could not be ascertained if these children were registered at their birthplace.
Meanwhile, in his representation, a copy of which was sent to HT, Arora urged the home ministry to take necessary steps for amending rules.
Passport Rules, 1980, should be relaxed by incorporating a provision therein that in case the applicant is/was a resident of a registered orphanage and his/her date of birth is stated in any other document, like matriculation certificate, the production of birth certificate under the “Births and Deaths Act, 1969” shall not be necessary, reads the representation.
He has also written to the health department of Haryana government to relax certificate rules for orphans.