Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Single mothers get an R-Day boost

Single mothers are getting a boost to their status on the 60th Republic Day with the state government favouring a proposal to allow them to give their name in the column meant for parents while admitting their children in school.
Women who are divorced and victims of rape who give birth need not go through the embarrassing ordeal of naming the fathers to school authorities.
The state government is waiting for the advice of the law department before issuing final orders on the issue.
Even now, there is no rule against using mother’s name, but schools, colleges and government departments stubbornly insist on the father’s name for admission and other formalities.
Single mothers also face many ordeals in obtaining permissions from government and in educating their kids and had given many representations on the issue.
“To put an end to this laborious process, the state government is planning to change the guidelines,” said Mr Suresh Chanda, principal secretary of the education department. “We have already given exemption to Jogini women whose children were not allowed to study because they could not give the father’s name.”
Under the Jogini system young girls are dedicated to the local goddess and subsequently forced into prostitution. The age-old evil practice was banned in 1988 by the government.
“More than 42,000 Joginis now can mention their name as parent,” said Mr Manikya Vara Prasad, minister for secondary education. “Similar exemption to single mothers is also under consideration.”
In the last one year, the government received about 350 requests from the single mothers requesting exemption.
The commissioner and director of school education, Mrs Poonam Malakondaiah, took the initiative and sent proposals to the government which are likely to get the nod in a couple of weeks.
“This will bring far-reaching changes in society which is predominantly father-oriented,” said Mrs Malakondaiah. “Women can claim independence in all respects with these changes.”


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