Achieving 100pc birth registration
Saturday, 05 July 2008

Birth registration is one of the fundamental tights of the children. It may eliminate the problem in making a flawless voter list. It will also simplify the process of determination of a person's citizenship. Besides, it will stop early marriages. All these are of very great national interest. But, surprisingly enough, many people are not aware of the Birth and Death Registration Act of 2004. They and many others, who know of the Act, do not register the birth of their children. But it appears that not more than 50 percent of the birth registration programme can be achieved by this year, the final year of the project effective from July 3, 2006. According to a news item, only six crore out of 15 crore people of the country made their birth registration till March. The provision for free registration ended on July 2. Now a fee is needed at a rate depending on ages for registration. We understand that most parents are not aware that legal action may be taken against guardians after December this year for not taking registration of their children. The government has said that the birth registration law would be enforced to ensure 100 percent birth registration by 2008. The enforcement is urgently necessary. Lack of birth registration causes difficulties at the time of preparing a correct voter list. People engaged in preparing the list cannot correctly determine the age and nationality of a potential voter. This also allows people to marry their children before legally admissible age. The lack causes many other problems. So the birth registration act needs to be enforced strictly. The law concerned may also be reformed to achieve that goal. The government should launch a publicity campaign to make the people aware of the necessity of birth registration. People engaged in registering should also be corruption free. There are allegations that parents wanting to register the birth of their children need to pay huge amounts as bribe for the process. This discourages many parents to seek registration. This corrupt practice must have to be stopped. The registration process must be easy and readily available to all.

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