While investigating the story of a 30 year old man with 60% disability who lost his Rs. 1000 pension because he couldn’t get an Aadhaar in spite of his 62 year old widow mother taking him physically to get one several times, Times of India discovered that 53 thousand pensions have been stopped in Uttarakhand for lack of Aadhaar for a year now. These would be disabled, aged and widows – some of the most vulnerable citizens. The link to the stories is below, but here are the numbers.

Type of pensionTotal recipientsDenied for lack of Aadhaar% of pension recipients
Disability pension59,0815,424 9.18%
Elderly pension4,20,00036,060 8.59%
Widow pension1,50,00012,047 8.03%

The social welfare department said that the pensions were stopped after the state government made it mandatory to connect all government schemes to Aadhaar last year.

In other words, a scheme that allegedly enables delivery of services is denying people. And the numbers are not small. Approximately 8-9 people who were receiving pension out of every 100 are losing their pension in Uttarakhand because of Aadhaar related problems. The number being higher among the disabled for obvious reasons. The worse the disability, the higher the monetary dependence but also the harder it will be to keep going to some place. How many times can a 62 year old widow carry her 30 year old disabled and immobile son even if it makes him scared and violent, to make an Aadhaar?

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/no-aadhaar-53000-denied-pension-in-uttarakhand/articleshow/62092113.cms

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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