11 year old Santoshi, of Simdega district in Jharkhand died of starvation on the 28th September 2017. Her family’s ration card was cancelled on 22nd July 2017, because it wasn’t linked to an Aadhaar number. By then, their family had not received any rations for six months due to lack of Aadhaar “seeding” for their ration card. With school closed for the Durga Puja holidays, she no longer had access to the mid-day meals either and had eaten almost nothing for eight days when she died of starvation.

According to her mother, she died asking for food.

The impoverished family, not having land, jobs or steady income was entitled to subsidized rations under the National Food Security Act. They had a ration card that should have ensured their rights, but for an alleged tool of inclusion that is illegally being imposed on citizens, that prevented them from getting rations in spite of having the correct documentation and in direct violation of Supreme Court orders.

Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen understanding of tech and policy. She has been observing and commenting on Aadhaar since 2010 from a perspective of human rights, democracy and technological robustness.

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