Sunday, November 23, 2008

Passport-Ek Aur Kahani

If you wish to apply for a passport apart from your original place of residence, then gear up to struggle for months together. Getting a passport in an alien city is not that easy.


Initially I had no intention of applying it from Hyderabad. Thanks to those articles that I read every other day in the newspaper. A long list of people complaining out there that they did not receive the passport on time. I had already read so much about it that I thought it's better to apply it from my home town. But then I got to know that one of my friends had applied it from here and got it withing 2-3 months. I got inspired from her and made up my mind to give it a try. So here begins the story.

First thing's first. I need to get the form. So one fine saturday I went to the passport office. However, if you go to the passport office, the guards sitting there will suggest that "you can apply it online ma'am". But the site never opens properly. Later in the month of May or June I read in the Hindu that now we can apply for a passport from eSeva centres. And this process was enforced in the month of September. Though in newspapers the passport officials keep telling that you can apply for a passport online, trust me it's all fake. First of all the site does not open. So if you want to apply for a fresh/new passport, get a form (booklet) from an eSeva centre or the passport office.

Next thing on the list is to get the relevant papers in place. Namely your proof of DOB, your proof of residence and the demand draft. Guess what the news is, that the demand draft should not be more than three months old. C'mon it's written on a demand draft that it is valid for a period of six months. I went to the eSeva centre, with all the relevant documents attached and the form duly filled. The person sitting at the desk scanned through my form and other documents. But not even once did he say that your demand draft is more than three months old. I was almost on the verge of crying when after waiting for almost three and a half hours or so the other passport officer said, " your DD is not valid, we can not accept it". I tried to justify that a DD is valid for a period of six months. Moreover, it it not mentioned in the booklet attached to the passport form that your DD should not be older than three months. As a result I had to run back to the bank to renew the DD. The story does not end here.

Finally I submitted the passport form in the month of October. And those passport people said, "you will get your passport with 45 business days." Oh that's pretty cool. But again these were fake promises. After all we are not living in a utopian world.

Next thing on the list was the police verification process. Though it was due for some 31st of October, he finally turned up a few days back. The problem was that he did not understand Hindi, and was not comfortable with English as well. And I do not know Telegu. But any how he managed to get a copy of the required documents and signatures. But I didn't know that I had to offer him some Vitamin-M. So he asked for my proof of residence. Well, my kind house owner came to my rescue and said, "is it not enough that we are here to certify that she has been staying her for more than a year now". "Mousumi C'mon show him the electricity bills." And I showed all the bills and everything. But he said "get a stamp paper as your residence proof." Oh God, how many things do you need to show to prove that you are a citizen of a certain country!! Well left with no other choice I managed to ask people where can I get a stamp paper. And guess what an auto wala (auto rickshaw driver) informs me where I can get it from. So kind of him. Well I got the stamp paper and finally submitted it to the verification officer.

Now I have to patiently wait for my passport to come.

Here are few tips that might help all the people who are planning to get a new passport from Hyderabad are as follows:

Get the passport form from eSeva centre.

Get all the papers in place. Note the DD should not be more than three months old.

If you are staying as a tenant, get a stamp paper ready as a proof of residence.

This was a learning experience for me. I learnt how to get things done on my own. Also one thing is evident that patience and perseverance is a great virtue. And in any place you need to inculcate these virtues to get things done.

2 comments:

davinder said...

Hi,

have you got passport? if yes, how many days or months it took. Any other experiences to share. On which eseva center you applied. Please share. Thanks

Mousumi Ghosh said...

I applied for my passport in the beginning of october. Oh yes the eSeva people said tht they can't accept my DD cause it was more than 3 months old.Wierd!!
Anyway, i haven't received my passport so far. Hope to receive it soon cause the police verification report has been submitted.