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Single mom Juveria Patni has been struggling for the last years to get a passport for her son. Despite court orders, why are single moms in India still harassed?
How many of you really believe those emails about petitions which keep landing in your inbox? A few years back, I too had the same perception. Still, I never marked those as spam. But the moment I clicked on them and read one, I realised that they were not fake or spam. They are the people whose life-challenges are attached to these kinds of e-mails. Their sentiments, their present, future, past and much more are involved and a single online signature can change their fight against many odds. Just a few seconds of your precious time can help their appeal!
A few days back I got a petition where a single mother, Dr.Alaknanda Vaidya, who was a 90% disabled doctor-mom wanted her posting changed closer to her hometown so that she could be reachable to her family and daughter; else she had to travel a 100 kilometers to her hospital with all the attendant difficulties. I did sign her petition and later received a thank you mail stating that 90000 people had signed her petition and the Maharashtra govt had promised her a transfer closer to her place. Her happiness that she could now stay closer to her 11-year old daughter and spend more time with her reflected in the e-mail. I was happy that I did something good!
Just two days back, I got a petition from another single mom, Juveria Patni, who is fighting for her son’s passport. Juveria is a single mother who separated from her abusive husband ten years ago when she was pregnant. She is now happy as a single independent mom to a 10-year old son; yet, she has to fight every inch to get her son a passport, over the last three years. The court asks her to bring an NOC letter from her ex-husband, who has remarried and is not in touch for so many years. She is fighting for her rights in every possible way and I just hope she gets her dues, and that the Government too considers this a landmark case in the future.
I question though as to why she needs her ex-husband’s consent to get her son’s passport, when the Delhi high Court has previously declared that a single mom can get her child’s passport with mother’s name only. However, passport offices don’t follow this rule in practice, unnecessary creating a challenging situation for a mother.
There are many more single mothers like Juveria Patni who are fighting for their children’s passport. I hope they are able to win this fight.
When will things change for single mothers or does society really want women to stay in abusive marriages till their last? Can some sense prevail in these stereotypical mindsets? Can’t she live happily as a single mother or is it a crime?
I am worried about the many such cases with no possible answers around!
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Top image courtesy Juveria Patni’s petition which you can sign here.
First published here