Education dept chips in to give official approval to God's gift
Rekha Patel has since long been nurturing the dream of seeing her 'angel' daughter get a birth certificate. The dream would have remained a dream had this housemaid not received a phone on Friday evening.
The Surat District Primary Education officials came to Shree Nutan Primary Secondary School at Adajan and handed over a brown envelope containing the provisional birth certificate of the girl, Falak, to the principal, Devkala Parmar. The school officials immediately called up Rekha Patel and asked her to come to the school with sweets.
On Wednesday, this paper had published the news of a housemaid named Rekha Patel, a resident of Jalaramnagar slum in Adajan, struggling to get the birth certificate of her adopted girl, Falak Patel, since the last three months. The Surat District Panchayat Primary Education office swung into action and initiated the procedure of preparing the girl's birth certificate. On Friday, an official named Arjun Patel officially handed over Falak's birth certificate to the school.
The good news was broken to Rekha upon her reaching school. She cried with joy hearing this. Her three month long ordeal ended on a happy note. She handed a packet of sweets to the school principal, Parmar, and also distributed sweets among the teachers and the government official, Arjun Patel.
In a muffled voice a tearful Rekha Patel profoundly thanked Newsline and said: "I have nothing to demand from the Almighty now. I just want to make my daughter a doctor. I have even started saving money for her higher education. Both my sons are physically and mentally unfit and I have accepted this gift (Falak) from God."
The Surat District Primary Education officer, Dr P N Dave, said: "We have a huge workload pending in our office. As of now we have given her a provisional birth certificate having the date of June 1, 2005. A provision is there in the Mumbai Primary Education Act, 1949 that in some special cases the district primary education officer has the right to issue a provisional birth certificate with a fixed date of June 1. We have also requested the school authorities to include her name in school registers. The government will bear the entire cost of her education. We have also requested Rekha to admit her daughter in a government-run school at Umarpada taluka in Tapi district, where she will receive free education and boarding. Rekha can also get a copy of the birth certificate from the school if she demands."
Rekha Patel had found the baby girl wrapped in a plastic bag with stray dogs ready to feed on her, three years ago. She rescued the child and adopted her as her own. "I want to tell people not to dispose infants as garbage. They should donate it to an orphanage if they don't want it. It is a gift of God," Rekha said.