Overburdened staff have to deal with pleas for name changes too

A name change is said to bring luck to some, but for the employees of the birth and death registration department in the city Corporation, it can be a nightmare as it entails some paperwork for the name to attain legality.

The overburdened staff in this department come across a handful of such applications daily.

Changes, big and small

“Sometimes, there is a drastic change in the name. Sometimes, just a letter is changed. There are those who tweak their second names too. On some days, such applications come up to 15 or so. It is not a good trend,” says P. Gopinathan, sub-registrar of birth and death in the Corporation.

The staff here say that celebrities as well as the not-so-famous come in with such applications.

Long queues

On any given day, there is a long queue in front of the help desk of this department, which has a strength of 32.

Close to 500 applications for birth and death registrations are received daily, along with these cosmetic name change applications.

Another variety of applications which makes a significant percentage of the total number is for change of names in the death certificate.

“Since death registration is usually done by a relative and not by the sons or daughters, there is a chance for errors in the name. It becomes a problem when the family property needs to be sold. There have been unimaginable instances of fraud by playing around with the name in the death certificate,” says Mr. Gopinathan.

Lengthy procedure

The name change in the death certificate is a lengthy process which requires changes in the village office and hospital records.

“Many of them leave it midway and come back after several years when the certificate becomes a necessity. Then they stand outside and tell the crowd that they gave the application many years ago, which gives a wrong impression about the department to the public,” he says.

In birth certificates

Name creates a problem during birth too with many parents deciding to change their child’s name before sending him/her to school. In one bizarre case, a mother came with an application for changing the name of her baby.

After some time on the same day, her husband, a politician, came back with her to change the name once again and created a ruckus.