Aadhaar Card is a boon they said, but reality seems very different.
In the last few months, several deaths have been reported among very poor people who did not receive food because of the Aadhaar based biometric system.
An 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand died crying for rice as her family had not eaten for days. Her family's ration card was not linked to Aadhaar, and hence they could not get anything to eat.
Another such instance was reported from Uttar Pradesh, where a girl died of starvation after she was denied ration until she came herself to give her fingerprints. This is despite her being ill.
Why is there no outcry about this? Media channels just report one incident on the day it makes the headlines and then soon switch over to something else.
A 55-year-old widow of a Kargil War martyr died after a private hospital in Sonipat denied her medical treatment because she was not carrying her Aadhaar card.
Shakuntala Devi was suffering from throat cancer and was also a heart patient. Her son Pawan Kumar told media persons that he even got his family members to send him the Aadhaar card details on WhatsApp, but the hospital authorities refused to accept it. When he created a scene, police officials were called in.
Tulip Hospital in Sonipat, however, denied these allegations.
A 64-year-old widow from the rural area of Jharkhand died due to the complicated Aadhaar-bank integration system.
While the Right to Food Campaign said that Premani Kunwar died of hunger and exhaustion on December 1, the real reason is that she did not have money to eat. According to reports, she was receiving her pension until September, after which it was diverted to her husband's first wife's account, who by the way died 25-years back.
An investigation into the matter revealed that Premani Kunwar's Aadhaar card was indeed linked to Shanti Devi's account. The report also said that Kunwar did not receive the ration despite the dealer authenticating her biometrics and marking an entry of 25 kgs of rice against her name.
Yes, new Facebook users will now be prompted to share their details as per their Aadhaar card. A Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying that the move was intended to curb fake accounts on the social networking site.
There have been cases where the spellings on the Aadhaar card vary from the spellings in bank account form because of lack of education in rural areas. And according to the new rules of linking the Aadhaar to a bank account, an account can be blocked if there is even an extra full stop or initial on the card.
Such instances were reported from rural areas of Telangana, where customers opened their bank accounts decades back and submitted their ration card as identity proofs.
According to a report shared in August, out of the 75 percent Aadhaar seeding that the Telangana bankers claimed to be completed, only 15 percent were valid because of this.
The Aadhaar Bill was passed as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha in 2016, with the intention to use a unique identification number for beneficiaries. The real aim of the bill was to benefit the below poverty line people who rely on the government subsidies and monetary payments. But there is still so much confusion around it. So many questions remain unanswered.
Link your Aadhaar card to bank accounts!
Link your Aadhaar card to mobile numbers!
Link your Aadhaar card to passport!
These messages have been piling up our inbox with new deadlines being declared on an everyday basis. All because of lack of planning from the Centre.
In August, the Supreme Court ruled that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 of the constitution, questions were raised as to Aadhaar card being a violation of our privacy rights.
The case is still pending in the Supreme Court where the Centre will now have to defend its scheme. It will not only have to defend the provisions of the Aadhaar Act but also that it will protect and not share this data.
All in all, so far the Aadhaar Bill comes across as nothing but an idea gone wrong; thanks to the lack of planning of our government.