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'I, an Orphan, Struggled and Finally Got My Passport Almost 7 Years Later'

To get help with my passport issue, I shared my story with The Quint’s My Report team in December 2021.

Published
My Report
4 min read

Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor:
Puneet Bhatia

After a long wait of almost seven years, I finally received my passport on 22 September 2022 and cannot begin to express my happiness!

My name is Vishalmridul Mandal and I'm working as a domestic help in Haryana's Gurugram. I lost my father at the age of eight and after my mother's remarriage, an orphanage in Delhi became my new home, from where I also did my schooling. As an orphan, despite submitting all my documents and multiple applications, my passport was rejected thrice.

Vishal with his passport.

(Photo Courtesy: Vishalmridul Mandal)

To get help with my passport issue, I shared my story with The Quint’s My Report team in December 2021.

Vishalmridul Mandal's story was published on 30 December 2021 on The Quint.

(Photo Courtesy: Screengrab from The Quint)

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Reasons for the Rejections

Talking about my previous passport rejections, in 2016, I applied to obtain a passport for the first time in Mumbai, where I was working at Taj Lands End as part of the housekeeping staff. My application was rejected because I could not give my work address for the passport and I was asked to go to Delhi and reapply.

Vishal at his workplace.

(Photo Courtesy: Vishalmridul Mandal)

In 2019, I came to Delhi and reapplied after taking permission from the orphanage I grew up in. This time again, my passport was rejected by the police stating that I was above 18 and could not put my orphanage's address in the application.

Vishal at his orphanage.

(Photo Courtesy: Vishalmridul Mandal)

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In 2020, after going back to my hometown of Baruipur in West Bengal, I reapplied. My application was rejected again during police verification as they started questioning my nationality for I didn't have my birth certificate.

The entire process became frustrating for me. How was I supposed to have my parent's documents when I had hardly spent any time with them?

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The Quint Reached Out

The Quint’s My Report helped me by reaching out to senior authorities, the passport office, my orphanage, the local police, and they also spoke to the Child Welfare Committee.

The mail sent to the passport office.

(Photo: Screenshot of the mail)

The mail sent to the orphanage.

(Photo: Screenshot of the mail)

In July 2022, Varun Pathak, the chairperson of the Child Welfare Committe, wrote a letter to the concerned DCP of northeast Delhi, asking them to fasten the process as all my documents were submitted.

Letter from the Child Welfare Committee.

(Photo Courtesy: Child Welfare Committee)

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I'm so glad, I finally have my passport with me and now, I can think of my future. It’s always been my dream to work on a cruise and now that my passport is here, I can start applying for jobs there.

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The Quint spoke to Varun Pathak, the chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, for his response:

He grew up in Delhi’s children’s home. For him, getting all his documents was a struggle. But his struggle did not end here, he faced issues such as pending police verification along with a few others. 

We sent a letter to the concerned DCP regarding this, asking the status of the passport application and why it was pending. We also sent a copy to the district magistrate of northeast Delhi, the joint secretary of the Government of India, the Ministries of Women and Child Development and External Affairs, so that the process of him getting the passport could be smoother and there would be no gaps.

It did take a lot of time even after that but we’re very happy now, Vishal is happy too. We are also satisfied with the process. He finally received his passport, which is his right.

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(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from my-report

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