can we apply for a passport please?

 

What’s in a name? is it lucky No 7?image Ducks in a row?

 

Well, yes… well, we almost have gathered together all the relevant forms of ID so we are  ready to dive into the duck pond! there is just one more thing to do before we can submit the application on-line.

 

It’s  to visit an advocate for Manjula to sign an affidavit declaring who she is and hasn’t any criminal record etc etc.

if they accept this at the Passport office it will speed things up considerably as the police verification visit can then be AFTER the issuing of the Passport

We’ve also had to make some momentous decisions which we will share at a future date!

 

We find a very helpful advocate and the document is signed. We’re ready..

 

 

 

 

You’ve asked for more detail

What’s in a name 6B?

Well, we seem to have ‘hit a chord’ with our imaginary board game.  There has been interest via facebook, our web site and directly to our blog.  Here’s a little more detail to satisfy your thirst. Rememeber, we’re doing this to get a passport!

PAN card, Manjula has already registered to pay tax. It was relatively easy, handled by our accountant.

PAN Card

We shoot ahead with this one! Maybe it’s not exactly playing the game but we did apply in advance, almost as a ‘dry-run.’

The PAN card is a registration to pay tax and is useful, amongst other things, to prove one’s name.

 

 

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The Aadhar Card is the Indian name for the ID card, now becoming familiar the world over.

It works as a universal ID to help access a whole range of services.  Based on biometrics (really?)  it’s invaluable BUT… in Manjula’s case, she was listed as a male, name was incorrect and it was an old address. (no comment) So there needed to be significant changes (really!).

What is cool about this system is, it’s all amendable online: no brokers (aka middlemen), no need to visit offices nor queing. Absolutely fab!  Requests to amend the details are submitted online. Updates are dealt with at a contact centre and confirmed or rejected via Email and SMS (text)  At this stage, I’m overcome with serious enthusiasm.

I register with the system. (as Manjula of course… your wouldn’t believe how much her reading and computer skills have really, come-on 😉 )

I amend everything ALL at once. BIG BIG mistake. ALL rejected. Now then Stephen, listen up, less of the ‘bull in a China shop’ or ‘at a gate?’ go at it a little more gently.. Shanti Shanti. OK, so I submit the changes one by one,  waiting each time for the confirmation of success before trying the next.

Sorted! Big achievements all round.

Quackety Quack

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But next, we need proof of her address to show she has lived a for over a year at Moksha ‘Manor.’ An accepted way to do this is a bank account.

A stroke of luck.

I opened an account for Manjula years ago. With a couple of changes, a passbook newly printed off, her photo added together with  a print off of the transactions of the previous year, a letter from the bank manager with a stamped photo of Manjula and Ducks away!

 

 

imageand finally, (I’m joking.. its not finally, stay with us guys) we need evidence of her Date of Birth.

In a traditionally informal society, such as this and especially for those people from a poor background, they would generally, not have a birth certificate.  Evidence of their age and date of birth would therefore usually come from the school leaving or transfer certificate.

We’d first obtained it as part of the PAN process but needed to get it re-issued. sorted easily.

There’s another Donald Duck!

 

 

So we now have formal evidence of Manjula’s name, gender, image, her father’s name, her date of birth, age, and address (for over a year).

You might feel a bit exhausted just hearing the story.

I can assure you it’s been quite an ordeal just getting to this stage.

In real time (ie not blog time) it has taken months!

We’re now in a position to apply online for a passport…… What does the future hold?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a name 6

All we want is a passport, so Manjula can visit the UK. Is that too much to ask?

Well it feels so much like a board game we’ve created our own. Looks complicated? Well it is!

We’ve had to find four items of ID to prove:

image

name

gender

address

date of birth

and ensure they are all accurate and consistent (no mean feat).

Move down each vertical line to realise each of the things we’ve had to complete. Sometimes we’ve had to create something from scratch, with others we’ve amended most of the key details, with others, well we’ve been running alongside Alice for some of the way and no were not mad, yet!

This is however, only part of the journey and until we’d got all these forms of ID we were unable to submit the application for Manjula’s passport. Well we’ve passed another significant milestone and we are now ready to apply.

imageImagine you are a poor illiterate person. Admittedly, if you’re poor, you’ll be less likely to require a passport, but that’s to miss the point. I reckon most people would find this intimidating. Bureaucracy seems to be designed to hinder people and not to help. When you understand the complexity of something that should be relatively simple you can see how disabling this is and how ‘brokers’ are so necessary in life. All this causes stress ( I can vouch for that) and money!!

we’re getting closer to the passport application…

what’s in a name? No 5

to apply for the passport, we now need to gather various forms of ID but here is a stroke of luck. There is a quicker way to get a passport, known as TADKAL. Unfortunately, Manjula can’t apply under this scheme as you need to get a letter of support from a senior civil servant ( a way of institutionalising, it’s who you know!) and we don’t know one. However, the Government minister has recently announced a way to apply for a passport which is a sort of half-way-house. If Manjula has the correct ID and a signed affidavit she can speed up the process, get the passport quicker as a visit from the police would be held AFTER it’s issued. fab!

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 7.39.21 pm

what’s in a name part 3

so to get the PAN (registered for tax) card, for Manjula. I need to find proof of address , Photo ID and Date of Birth. It’s a bit like a board game, throw the dice, move forward a few steps, teeter a bit on the edge and run the risk of falling back a step or two.

In my view, this will help in our ultimate aim of obtaining a passport

Simple:

proof of address comes from her election ID card

nah, that will not do, its got the wrong address and name, so what else can we use? Thankfully, I used to match her savings: rupee for rupee, so I’d set up a bank account for her years ago and yes…….. it’s got her proper name and address. So there is a BIG tick for the bank pass book. Result!

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But we do need something with her name on it and photograph …. believe it or not, even though the address and father’s name is wrong we can go with the election ID card, astonishing, but eh beggars can’t be choosers, so just don’t tell anyone… great stuff, we’re at tick no 2.

Photo ID, the election card

 

In these situations, the evidence for the date of birth, if a birth certificate is not available, is the school leaving certificate or as in Manjula’s case, her TC or Transfer Certificate. She didn’t last more than a very short time at school so there wasn’t a formal leaving as such! So off we went to the school she last attended in Bamboo Bazaar in Mysore, around 35 years ago. Your wouldn’t believe it. Once Manjula, had explained what we were after, the current head teacher, reached into her cupboard for one of (only a few ledgers to cover so many years!) and started checking dates and names. After a couple of false trails she found her entry. Astonishing! She completed a new TC, paid up and they posed for our commemorative photo. Result…….. tick no 3

 

 

 

It’s taken sometime but we’re on our way, so I take the documents to the accountant.

 

 

 

what’s in a name? part 2

So what to do next?

remembering that our eventual aim is to get Manjula a passport, but let’s build up to the big tasks and start with something more straightforward

a simple first challenge was to get a PAN card for Manjula. You get a PAN card when you register to pay taxes. Country needs people to pay taxes so you’d expect it to be relatively easy. Well it, sort of, is and I’ve got one (as has the company), so it can’t be that difficult, can it?

pics of ID cards have been removed

This would be important as would be to learn from the process of obtaining it, we’d need to get Manjula’s various ID’s in line (rather like ducks) and the card itself would be a valuable addition to helping create a formal identity suited to the modern age 😉 yeh, right! what are we waiting for?

So the man to manage the process would be Ganesh, my very able accountant. He copes with my idiosyncratic accounting practices, so is nothing, if not flexible and adaptable.

1b

But of course, the balloon (ie me, do check our business card) is ‘the fixer’ or is it gopher?

 

First stage is to get her three forms of ID that show her photo, name, Date of Birth and address… now let me just find them out…….