The campaign to open a Passport Seva Kendra on Change.org has got over 1,500 signatures within four days. The Northern most district of Kerala, Kasaragod is the second largest NRI populated district in Kerala with over 200,000 from the district working in overseas. According to petitioners, NRI remittence supports the lives of more than half million residents directly.
Inspite of this, the district has no Regional Passport Office or Passport Seva Kendra. There are only two districts in the state which does not have a Passport centres. The nearest passport Seva Kendra to Kasaragod is in Payyanur, Kannur district which is approximately a hundred kilometers from the border of the district.
In September 2014, in response to a petition by Kasaragod Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), P Karunakaran, received a response from External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, stating that she has instructed the officers to conduct Passport Seva Camps in Kasaragod. Unfortunately, there has been no camps held till date, ten months since her letter.
Let’s hope Madam Minister sees this as a humanitarian issue and like she has done via social media in helping Indians in need across the globe, acts upon this with a sense of urgency.
In the meantime, if you have a minute to spare, please help by signing the petition here.