Updated: June 17, 2021 1:57:34 am
Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC)’s birth and death registration office is witnessing serpentine queues of relatives of deceased persons seeking a physical, signed copy of the death certificates.
Relatives at the office said that despite downloading the e-death certificates from the websites as instructed by most civic bodies, the institutions concerned are unwilling to accept them as the original.
Kunal Rathwa, who lost his father to Covid-19 in May, was among those who had queued up at the Vadodara registration office.
Rathwa told The Indian Express, “I downloaded the certificate as per the instructions but the Provident Fund office and the Life Insurance Corporation refused to accept the same and asked me to bring a true copy. If it is mandatory to now have only e-death certificates, then why can’t the government agencies coordinate and make it known to these institutions as well to save families from running from pillar to post?”
Most relatives complained that they had been waiting in the queue for over three hours and the process was slow.
Parth Bhatt, whose father-in-law passed away in May after battling Covid-19, was also among those who queued up at Vadodara. Bhatt said that despite having followed the process, his family could not get the insurance company to accept the death certificate downloaded from the website.
“Not just the fact that I have to queue up here but also that the officer has told me that since I am not a biological child of the deceased but his son-in-law, they will not even give me the original copy of the death certificate. So, I have called my wife to join the queue. My only question is that why are families, who are still grieving the loss, being made to go through this. Why can’t the process be smooth and it be made compulsory for these companies and other agencies to accept e-certificates of death?”
Dr Devesh Patel, Medical Officer for Health, VMC, said that the mandatory e-certificate of death is part of a process to ease accessibility and decided by the government.
“We are just following the circular issued by the government that has made it mandatory for all deaths after 2020 to be issued e-certificates for death. Only those who have passed away before 2020 will be eligible for the physical copies. The issue is that there is a lack of awareness among the people and also because they have this mindset of having signed, colourful copies of the certificates,” Patel said.
“There is a QR Code on the e-certificates and it is not true that the agencies can reject them for signatures. However, we can’t deny that the agencies do tend to make relatives run around for various reasons, but that is not in the hands of the civic body. They should accept the certificates if they can verify the QR code, according to the government circular,” he added.
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