FB Live: Delhi Residents Want Aadhaar to be Revoked
Residents of Kusumpur Pahadi, which is regarded as Delhi’s largest slum, are claiming that Aadhaar has made their lives more difficult. Scores of them have been denied rations, ever since Aadhaar-based authentiction was made mandatory in January this year. The Quint spoke to the residents of Kusumpur Pahadi, some of whom had participated at a recent public hearing on Aadhaar.
Phoolmati, who is a domestic help, shared her ordeal – how she was made to wait for hours only to be told by the Fair Price Shop owner that the ‘server is down’. Connectivity problems are just the tip of iceberg, with residents claiming that though they have been denied their monthly quota of ration, records indicate ‘zero balance’ against their names for the month of January.
Buying food items from local kirana stores is burning a hole in the pockets of people at Kusumpur Pahadi, inhabited mostly by daily wage labourers.
When Rama Bai’s fingerprints didn’t match, she had to call her son from Rajasthan to use his biometric ID for availing of the 5 kgs of food grains allotted for her, as has been mandated by the National Food Security Act 2013.
Seventy-year-old Samo Devi who stays alone was not so lucky. She has been denied rations in January and February due to biometric authentication failure. Due to the absence of a grievance redressal mechanism, activists are alleging that Aadhaar has not been able to curb corruption and pilferage. Rekha, another resident of Kusumpur Pahadi, shared her experience on how she had to call her husband who was at work and it was his fingerprint that bailed out the family. ‘Angootha hatwa dijiye (revoke the clause of biometric authentication)’, said Urmila who said they’ve never faced such a problem earlier.
Testimonies of the residents of Kusumpur Pahadi will be submitted as evidence as the Delhi High Court continues to hear a plea challenging the Centre’s notification on making Aadhaar compulsory.
While policy-makers envisaged Aadhaar as one-stop solution for plugging leakages, the situation on the ground seems to suggest that such theoretical moves are in fact proving detrimental to the aam aadmi.