Disabled Left With ‘Nir-Aadhaar’



A lot has been discussed about ‘Aadhar’ and its impact on common people. Economists, political and social scientists and many other academicians have elaborately analysed the futility of the project.

One more angle of introspecting aadhar is the impact on disabled persons, especially those who have problems with their fingers or eyes or both. While the poor are facing starvation deaths due to non- availability of ration, disabled face problems even at the time of registration. In states like UP, aadhar has been made mandatory to travel ( Aadhar must for disabled to travel free in UP buses, December3, 2017, www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com). Even youngsters are protesting against imposition of Aaadhar. Last May, a 14 year girl posted a cartoon against aadhar. The pianist suffers from ‘ Marfan Syndrome’ which affects connective tissues. The disorder, in certain cases, leads to illegible fingerprints making her ineligible for benefits under aadhar. ( Jan 2, 2018, www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com). She, alongwith her father and family fiend, are holding public protests.

Similarly, a seven year old was denied school admission as her fingerprints for aadhar were unrecognisable( July 27, 2017, timesofindia.indiatimes.com). Thus, in many cases, fingerprint problems are denying the basic rights of disabled and children. Persons affected with eye problems like retinitis may find problems as the iris scan may be difficult and they may be denied benefits that they are legally entitled.

The project that is touted to be most inclusive is turning out to be most exclusive. It is becoming a hurdle to poor, old and the downtrodden as well as disabled who face many other problems. Their benefits are being curtailed by reducing grants and narrowing the definition of disability. Aadhar is becoming yet another stumbling block to make them ‘ nir – aadhar’ ( loose dependence) on the slim support from the social welfare schemes of government.

Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere

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