Aarti is a single mother who says it is frustrating that at most places a mother's name is not considered sufficient to define a child's identity. They insist on the father's name.
"Why cannot it be the mother's name? She's the one taking the child to school, mostly. When it comes to government stuff like Passport or Visa they harass you. Why can't they simply take the mother's word for it? The child is with the mother and the mother is giving a passport copy,'' said Aarti.
The Andhra Pradesh government is trying to address this, at least partly, by giving the option of mentioning either parent's name in a child's school admission form.
"In our old system, father's name must be included in the certificates. Why not mother? She's taking care of the child, she's feeding everything to the child. The father is not taking care. But in the ultimate records, it is the father's name that comes. This is very unfortunate. This is very discriminatory,'' said M Varaprasad, School Education minister, Andhra Pradesh.
"It should have happened long ago. There is no debate,'' said Vasanth Kannabiran, Human Rights activist.