A Letter of Concern
You are planning to travel abroad for some important issues. You need a passport for your little baby. Now what will you do? You have to take your baby to the Passport Seva Kendra office as per the rule. Now the question of hygiene whispers around you. Exposing an infant to the unsanitised conditions of Passport Seva Kendra office can be a disturbing thought to harrowed parents worrying over their infant contracting any communicable disease. Being worried on this issue, well known cultural activist and social worker Sundeep Bhutoria wrote a letter to Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister of External Affairs. He drew her attention to 'an important aspect pertaining to the process of issuing passports to infants.'
"This is a very worrisome experience for those parents who find themselves in a situation where they need a passport for their day-old infant. It is also fraught with consequences as the infants are susceptible to disease and infections and the risk of contracting such is very high. Since the PSK offices are visited by too many people, maintaining a proper sanitised environment conducive for the infants is not always possible. In the light of the fact stated above, I humbly request you to kindly take up this matter and work out a mechanism to issue passports for infants in a manner that they are not exposed to any risk. I also feel that there is a need to re-evaluate the necessity of fingerprinting newborns, and we must work out viable alternatives."
Not only Sundeep Bhutoria but the anxious parents are also waiting to hear from the Ministry of External Affairs on its reaction to Mr. Bhutoria's letter. Since the issue is very serious and important too, isn't it?
(The views expressed are strictly personal.)