Children born in India without a birth certificate will grow up without an identity since the birth certificate is one of the most crucial documents, and it is a requirement when registering for all other certificates. Bihar records only 26% of births and 25% of deaths, which is the lowest in the country on both counts. The main reason for this could be the high illiterate population in the State and since Bihar is mainly rural as well.
Unicef’s State of the World’s Children 2012 report says, only 59% of births in urban India are registered, with the corresponding 35% in rural areas. The Government states that it is mandatory and a right of each person born in the country to have their birth registered. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Parents should force the registration of the births of their children since although the certificate is not a necessity in the short run, it is a primary requirement later. If not done correctly, incorrect information could have long leading implications.
Birth certificates are a requirement for all Government registrations processes. Since they have the age and other information of the applicant, they are a necessity for the registration of the Aadhaar card, which is one of the most important documents that a citizen should have. Other than Government documentation, there are other uses to the birth certificate too. Students have to provide proof of their age before they enrol into school, and this is done with a birth certificate. Without a birth certificate, they might find it quite challenging to get in, which shows that it is needed for them to answer and receive their mark sheets.
Furthermore, the birth certificate is needed when applying for various health schemes or any other benefits that the Government provides to its citizens. They are currently even used as proof of whether an individual is a citizen of India or not.
A birth certificate by itself cannot be used as a proof of identification since Government documents need a photograph. However, it is needed when applying for all of them.
One of the most significant reasons why people do not register for birth certificates is that they do not see it as an immediate requirement. Most of the statistics talk about children under the age of five not having their birth certificate, and this is because they apply for them as they grow older and need them, some even going ahead and applying on their own, without their parents.
Furthermore, the Government is creating awareness of why these certificates are a necessity and that they do not have to pay a lot for them, forcing a lot of people to start the process. They have eve taken the process online if the travel was turning out a challenge for mothers since it was ideal to have the birth registered within 21 days from birth.
Overall, the numbers have started increasing, which shows that the efforts are not in vain.