IN Kuala Lumpur, young Mahendravalli grew up without a birth certificate or identity card. Her parents didn’t know or understand the importance of birth registration. So they did not register her birth.
Without a birth certificate, Mahendravalli was unable to attend school. Later, she was unable to get a job. Later still, she got married, but it was only a customary marriage, because she was unable to register her marriage. Without a birth certificate or identity card, she was unable to get a marriage certificate.