I had to recently g to the passport office for renewal of my passport. Being a working lady I wanted to save time and asked all my friends to tell me what the fee was and how I could save time. Everyone informed me that I should pay the touts outside Rs 1000 and it would save me hours standing in a line to reach the first step. I decided to avail this service and was passed inside through the backdoor, helped by a man standing at the gate. I understand that we the educated class should not give in to such people but that are the only way to save time.

When I reached the photograph window, and after my photograph was taken I spoke to several girls standing around me, all of them had come through the same process. We realized that we had been fleeced. There was no proper cue at any cubicles and though there was a number given displayed we had no idea what would happen. I saw the office of Assistant Director Passport and requested to meet him. I was in for a surprise I walked through, he had an open door policy and he was an excellent person with good manners.

He informed me that this scam had been going on as people had no faith in the system. He had made amendments and now people who were disabled or ill were assisted in getting their passports renewed easily. This came as good news to me and I wanted to inform everyone about it. I hope, that we the educated class, will at least try to improve the culture around us and not go through illegal ways to get our legal work done. One good person can make a difference!

SHAFIA FARIS,

Lahore, September 17.