A boy’s quest for citizenship comes to an end after five yearsShibu Chhetri’s five-year long struggle to acquire citizenship has finally come to an end
Shibu Chhetri’s five-year long struggle to acquire citizenship has finally come to an end. Shibu, with his mother by his side, on Wednesday received his citizenship by descent from Jitendra Basnet, the chief district officer (CDO) of Chitwan. He said, “This is an important moment for me. I can’t contain my happiness.”
Shibu and his relatives had to fight a long legal battle to get citizenship by descent as his father, who died four years ago, possessed Nepali citizenship by birth. Although his mother, Sabitri, had acquired citizenship by descent, the District Administration Office (DAO) in Chitwan had denied Shibu of citizenship citing legal provisions.
Shibu’s struggle paid off after the Home Ministry on Tuesday instructed all 77 district administrations to issue citizenship to adult descendants of those Nepalis who had acquired citizenship by birth.
According to the ministry, it took the decision as many Nepalis faced roadblocks in pursuing education and career for lack of a citizenship certificate. Twenty-year-old Shibu, a civil engineering student, came to know about the ministry’s notice on Tuesday evening.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the ministry’s decision on Tuesday. I was beyond relieved and ecstatic,” he said. The next morning, he hurried to the DAO to receive his citizenship certificate. Shibu’s mother had acquired citizenship by descent from her maternal home district, Gorkha, before she married Man Bahadur Chhetri. Her husband was born in Humla in 1952. He migrated from place to place and finally settled in Chitwan where he met Sabitri and got married 30 years ago.
Though Sabitri acquired citizenship by descent, Man Bahadur was without his legal document until 2007 as his ancestral home, address and family members could not be verified. After the new constitution provision in 2007, he also acquired citizenship by birth.
“I was in grade 11 when my father passed away. I wanted to pursue civil engineering from Tribhuvan University and I also got through the entrance test. The university had offered me a scholarship as well. However, I couldn’t join the university for lack of citizenship,” Shibu told the Post on Wednesday.
The DAO in Chitwan confirmed that it issued citizenship by descent to Shibu following the ministry’s notice. According to Ishwor Sinkhada, an information officer, any person who comes with a citizenship of their father and mother will be granted citizenship by descent after adhering to due legal processes.