A birth certificate is required to avail 16 basic services including admission to educational institutions, national identity card, passport, employment, opening of a bank account, gas-water-telephone-electricity connections, trade license and land registration. But people have to suffer the most to get the birth certificate to avail civic utilities. Again, for those who were born after 1 January 2001, it is mandatory to have the birth certificate of the parents in order to get the certificate.
Prothom Alo reports that this has exacerbated people's suffering because the certificates before 2011 have been canceled. Now both the parents have to go through a lot of hassles to get new certificates as some of them have to go to their villages. But the whole programme has been digitised, for which the manpower has been trained and government allocation has also been given. But the information on the server was not updated. Why should the people take the responsibility of the previous certificates being cancelled?
Many have been issued their passport, driving license and land registration with one birth registration. Now they too have to register anew for birth certificate to get their child's school admission or any other civic service. That being said, a messy situation has been created. Even if the details or all the information are recorded in the national identity card, the information has to be given again to get the birth certificate.
What does it mean to create such complexity at every step? If a person has a national identity card or passport, why does he need a birth certificate? National identity card numbers are required for birth certificates, but birth and death registration authorities do not have the opportunity to verify these. Prothom Alo correspondent said that in any case, banks can verify the customer's information by using the national identity card number. If the banks have that opportunity, why can't the birth and death registration authority? It transpired that there is no coordination among the government authorities.
Why do people have to run to the registrar's office, city corporation, municipality, district or upazila administration office again and again to get a birth certificate or even for a small correction? Why can't an accurate certificate be obtained within a specified time by filling in all the information online? Issuing certificate through one-stop service should be ensured. The entire process becomes easy once verification is done.
Given the circumstances, this can be construed that the authorities have deliberately complicated the whole process, creating opportunities for corruption. For those who have a passport or a national identity card, the need of birth certificate in getting various government services should be waived. We think that the government policy makers need urgent intervention in this regard considering the immense suffering of the people.