RC (ration card) in our names was a must for this to happen and we needed a proof of residence to get an RC issued. The document we have for this are our passports. The catch is that my passport shows my parents' home address as my permanent address and I do not live there. Hence I thought Tara had a better chance as the permanent address in her passport is the same as our present address!
So I made a visit to the kscfc office located on museum road to ask if we could get an RC made in Tara's name and also to get an prescribed form to make the application. Tara could not join me as she has started working! I located the office, which was on the fourth floor of a building. As I waited for the lift, I looked up and saw this sign. So I trudged upstairs and was out of breath by the time I reached the 4th floor!
I entered a reasonably large office with only two officials in it. A bit of a surprise! You expect hordes of people in a Gov. Office. I approached the one who looked friendly and spoke to him about my requirement. He heard me out and said that there was no problem and the RC could be in either of our names. That was a relief.
He had a few questions of his own. He wanted to know if Tara's name was in her father's RC. I replied that it was unlikely as we lived in Pune earlier to our move abroad and we had our own RC in Pune. Then I requested for a form so that I could submit it after filling in all the details.
His reply amazed me! He said 'Meet me again with your wife, her father with his RC, along with copies of passport, photographs and your old RC'. Only then would a form be issued to me. I now learnt that an application form is as hard to get as the RC itself!
I told him that we did not have our old RC as we had misplaced it and also informed him smiling that her father at his age cannot climb four floors, like I did, as we are not allowed to use the lift. He replied that the lift operator would have let me in and gave me a look which was typical which implies 'you should know that'! (Thilkobekoo!)
He then relented and said 'No need for her father to come! But make an affidavit on a stamp paper about your loss of RC and you and your wife meet me again and I will give you the form!'
(I searched their website if per chance I could down load the Form! No such luck! As I browsed the website I learnt that control of LPG was one of the many operations of this profit making organisation! I also saw that I could read a report about LPG in their website. Curious I clicked on the report and was asked to log in with a password! I guessed I had to register first, but there was no way I could accomplish this feat! I gave up after a while.)
As I was leaving, I remarked about the large office with only two people in it. I think he said that his people were out on a raid (not too sure if I heard him right!) and then he elaborated saying that 'our staff keep visiting houses to check that the number of people shown in the RC are really there!'
Suddenly I remembered that some one had mentioned a white RC that is issued only for ID purposes and not for rations. I asked him if I could be issued with a white RC. He said that this was discontinued. Too bad as this would have made my task simpler. I then got bold and asked him why all this procedure when most of us were just using the RC only as an ID. He gave me a look which said 'That was a stupid question!'
Then he consoled me with 'Wait for 1 and 1/2 years all this will be solved by Mr. Nilekani'. This confidence in him should make Nandan Nilekani very happy!
Anyway my next expedition would be to the civil courts to make an affidavit about my loss of our RC. Perhaps I may be asked for a police report from Pune that I had really lost it and that I had lodged a complaint. I am really worried as we do not have any details of the RC we had been issued in Pune. So it may be that we have to just wait for the Unique Identification Scheme (UID) to take effect. I wish all power to Nandan Nilekani and god speed in his new assignment.
I saw this notice on the way down from the kscfc office! Not sure if I should approach the registrar for a solution to my problems! May be I will one of these days! May turn out to be an interesting blog!