Testimony Of
Niyati Nath

The first time we visited Niyati Nath’s house to ask her about the NRC documents she had submitted, she ended the conversation rather abruptly saying that their house had recently burned down, all her papers had been destroyed and no, she had not been included in the NRC.

We could see her frail, old mother-in-law sitting outside the house, putting together straw frames and fresh coats of mud to rebuild the house. Later, as we spoke with others, Niyati realised that we were not government officers. That is when she sat down with us to discuss her matter in detail.

Niyati Nath was married into a family in Hojai in Assam from her home
in Tripura. She had submitted her father’s name from the 1982 voters’ list of Tripura as her legacy document. We discovered that her grandfather Narendra and grandmother Aanchal did, in fact, have their names in the 1966 voters' list of Tripura but documents in their name were difficult to find after all this time and going to Tripura had been impossible, especially with the poor financial condition.

Nobody from the administration had guided her during the NRC application process. Niyati had managed to piece together something from the information she got from the people of her village and submitted papers accordingly. She did not know about the 1971 cut-off year clause in the NRC process.

A few phone calls to Tripura and she realised that she could, in fact, access the 1966 voter list and show her grandfather’s name on it. She already had her father’s PAN card which established a link with her grandfather. Her own school certificates carried her father’s name. Access to correct information and inter-state records would have saved Niyati a lot of stress and hassle and she could have made it to the NRC list in the first go.