DOLAKHA, May 27: In a first ever case of its kind, the District Administration Office (DAO) of Dolakha issued a citizenship certificate on Thursday to Sabina Damai, whose father´s identity is not established.
The DAO handed the citizenship certificate to Sabina in compliance with a landmark verdict handed down by the Supreme Court (SC). On February 27, the SC had directed the government to grant citizenship to Sabina on the basis of her mother´s identity.
The 18-year-old had moved the courts a year ago after the local administration in Dolakha refused to issue her citizenship, citing lack of her father´s identity. Advocates Meera Dhungana and Seema Dhami had helped Sabina fight her legal battle.
Although the local administration has in the past granted citizenship to two individuals on the basis of their mothers´ identities, this is the first time that anyone has gotten citizenship without the father´s identity being established. In the two previous cases, citizenship was first denied because the fathers refused to provide their names.
“My request for citizenship on the basis of my mother´s identity was rejected outright by the administration a year ago,” a jubilant Sabina said. “But the court had given me justice. My victory is now expected to bring justice to many others whose predicament is similar to mine.”
A resident of Lamidada-2 of Dolakha, Sabina had decided to move the courts after she was denied admission to a nursing college for lack of citizenship. “I hope now that I will get entry into the college,” she said, after receiving the citizenship certificate from Dolakha Chief District Officer (CDO) Ganesh Bhattarai.
Sabina has been living in Harisiddhi, Lalitpur district with her illiterate mother, Ganga Maya, and two younger siblings. Ganga Maya works as a construction laborer. Ganga Maya knows the name of her younger children´s father. But, she has no relations with him now.
“Five years after Sabina was born, I married a man from Rautahat district. I gave birth to his two children. Later, I learnt that he was already married. So, I divorced him,” Ganga Maya says. “I will try to get my two younger children their citizenship in their father´s name. But if I fail, I will turn to the precedent established in Sabina´s case.”