My last post ended with a visit to the police station, where I was assured that they would also address the error in date of birth that had come up due to their data entry - that was in September. When I didn't hear anything even after the stipulated 75 days I tried lazy methods of finding out the status online - like sending emails to the ids provided - here's how that went:
- The id given as that of the RPO bangalore email@example.com does not work. Their mailbox seems to be full and you get an automated reply saying "Over quota".
- I found another id firstname.lastname@example.org which was a little more promising because I atleast got some replies, but I soon realized that this was a call centre type of very generalized response which said "Under processing". And they also recommended to wait for the passport to arrive and THEN correct the DoB !!
Following are the steps that actually worked:
- There is an elaborate grievance redressal mechanism at the Passport Office itself. They give out token numbers starting 9:30 am, and listen to about 300 people every day! (I didn't know the timings and had just gone hoping to meet "somebody" so got a token number of 295 at bout 10:30 am. There are only 2 counters but very efficient personnel who got through 275 token numbers until they broke for lunch at 1:30 pm! I rushed home, left the car for my parents to pick up my daughter from school, ate lunch and got back by auto at 2:15 !! )
- I was directed to go to some data entry room to correct the DoB - it was as simple as that.
- Finally found that it was the supposedly helpful police personnel who had not completed the police verification process. I was directed to meet the Assistant Passport Officer (or his deputy it seemed like), who would address this. The only hitch was this took the rest of the day and I could finally meet her only at 5:45, but thankfully since it was a minor, she overrode the verification and told me "It is done!".
This was last Thursday, and after spending the entire day at the Passport office, I was really keeping my fingers crossed, and thankfully that's all it took - Taking the process in our hands, and going right to the source of the problem instead of sitting at home fuming and talking about RTI (which also I did a lot of ;)).