An example of an Aadhaar card

MUSSOORIE: All claims of a unique identity for each Indian seem to have crashed for a security guard’s family in Mussoorie when he learnt that his Aadhaar card had the same number as a junior government official. Because of the faux pas, the guard’s Aadhaar card has now ceased to be functional, and he has stopped receiving the benefits that were linked to it like gas subsidy. Left without an Aadhaar card, the guard is in a predicament for what he says is no fault of his.

The mix-up happened when the security guard, Ramesh Panwar, and Himanshu Saxena, who works as junior engineer in the Public Works Department, were standing in a queue to get their Aadhaar card made in 2013. However, due to a clerical error, Panwar’s fingerprints were also recorded in Saxena’s profile. While Panwar’s Aadhaar card was subsequently made, that of Saxena could not be made since he was repeatedly told that his card was under process. Eventually, when he did get his Aadhaar card three years later in 2016, Panwar’s card ceased to be functional. “I wanted to withdraw some money from my bank account for my son’s college fees. However, I found that the money from the gas subsidy which was due to me hadn’t been transferred to my account since November last year. When I enquired from the bank, I was told that the subsidy was going to one Himanshu Saxena, and that my Aadhaar card has ceased to be functional,” said a distraught Panwar who earns a meagre salary of Rs 7500 per month. “I am a class 8 dropout and don’t understand these money matters properly. All I know is that every paisa counts for me. What is my fault that the money that is due to me from the government is going to somebody else?” he added.

Meanwhile, Himanshu Saxena when contacted claimed that he had “no idea how the mix up happened.” “All I know is that I was trying to get my Aadhaar card made since 2013. When my card didn’t come to me after several months I went again to reapply and was told I couldn’t get a second card as my records were already updated in the system. It was only three years later that I found out that my name and the finger prints of Panwar had been mixed up. I have no clue if my card’s number is the same as Panwar’s. There is little I can do about it,” he told TOI.
Reacting to the situation, DP Baloni, manager of Indane Gas Service, Mussoorie said, “This is the first time that I am seeing such a strange case. The subsidy is obviously only going to one card although there are two people involved.”

Source: Times of India

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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