Being a single parent is a tough job — especially for single mothers in India, where the notion that the father is the head of the family is still prevalent in many places. Several single mothers face problems during school admissions that require the fathers’ income certificates. The situation is similar when it comes to procuring official documents like passports for children. A single moms is still asked to present the father’s name and related documents, even when she possesses sole custody of her child.
The story of 10-year-old Mohammad, a resident of Mumbai who has not been able to get his passport because of a similar reason, gives an insight into the troubles faced by single mothers. His story was posted on the Humans of Bombay Facebook page.
“My mother is a single parent. She was married to an abusive man, and at the age of 19 she was pregnant with me but…
Mohammad’s mother Juveria Patni left her abusive husband when she was pregnant. Even after fighting a legal battle for six years for her son’s custody, she is still facing problems getting his passport made. This is despite the fact that Delhi High Court passed a judgement in May 2016 stating that authorities cannot insist on the need for people to mention the name of one’s biological father in the passport as a mother’s name is sufficient in certain cases. Juveria has now filed a petition for the same.
Read the full post here:
“My mother is a single parent. She was married to an abusive man, and at the age of 19 she was pregnant with me but even though my parents got separated she had to fight for my custody for 6 long years. Even though she won custody almost 4 years ago, the passport office refuses to make my passport , as she is a single parent. She has gone to the passport office over a hundred times, but no one seems to listen to her, they keep harassing her for more papers even though her paperwork is upto mark. I’m 10 years old, and because I don’t have a passport, I haven’t been able to travel anywhere…even though I so badly want to go to see different places.
The government needs to change the rules for single parents. My mother has taken care of everything for me since I was born, but the passport office still demands the father’s permission. Why is his permission needed, when he’s never been my father in the first place? All these years, we’ve just been harassed by him…while he has remarried, has other children and travels the world whenever he feels like. It doesn’t matter anymore I don’t know him and I don’t want to know him, but he continues to impact our lives negatively. He has faced charges for domestic violence against my mother, but he continues to be free…while I haven’t even done anything and my freedom has been taken away. It’s so unfair.”
You can sign the online petition and show your support to Patni by clicking here.