Sans Aadhaar, no ration for migrants

Software developed for purpose identifies migrants only through their unique ID, say officials

April 19, 2020 10:52 pm | Updated 10:53 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The struggle for food continues as a migrant worker carries dry rations provided by the State government while pigeons gather in the hope of pecking at the fallen grains.

The struggle for food continues as a migrant worker carries dry rations provided by the State government while pigeons gather in the hope of pecking at the fallen grains.

Scores of migrant labourers without entry in the UID registry are a disheartened lot, as they are not eligible for the ration and financial aid announced by the State government.

Aadhaar identity is a mandatory requirement, which the migrant labourers must provide, to get the benefit of 12 kg rice and ₹500 cash per person.

The State government has announced the relief for migrant labourers to compensate for the present lockdown and loss of wages precipitated by the spread of COVID-19.

Rajaram Pandit is one such stranded labourer who eagerly arrived at the distribution location at a government school in Chaderghat. All he had was an electoral photo identity card to show that he was a migrant labourer from Bihar. Officials from Revenue department, who were checking the credentials of the long line of expectant labourers, shooed him away, saying the ID proof was not enough to obtain the benefit.

“I had my Aadhaar card, but lost it somewhere. I didn’t know how to obtain a new card, and did not think it was that important,” said Mr.Pandit.

Revenue officials at the location informed that every day, scores of labourers are sent away for the want of Aadhaar card.

“At least 20 to 30 people have been sent away. We cannot process the request without Aadhaar card, as the software developed for this purpose identifies the migrants only through their unique ID. We are accepting the entry even if they show their Aadhaar on phone,” said an official.

Verification process

The process involves checking the credentials, and entering the details in the online app developed by the Telangana Revenue department for migrant workers’ relief. After this, the beneficiary’s forefinger is marked with indelible ink in proof of receipt of ration, and their picture taken with ₹500 currency note in hand, to be uploaded online.

Insufficient grains

Several labourers with Aadhaar proof were also sent away from the gates, as there were not enough grains to provide to all.

Dheeraj Jadhav was one such hotel worker, also from Bihar, who was driven away from the distribution point. “I have come here after being driven away from another distribution point in Amberpet. I have no clue whom to approach,” he rued.

Jahangir Khan from Odisha, who works in the construction field, said he belonged to the same locality, but still did not get the ration. “My family lives in Odisha, and I stay alone here along with ten others from my home State. For two days, some people distributed free cooked food for people like us. Now, we have nothing to eat, nor money to buy supplies,” he said.

An enquiry with Revenue officials revealed that the list available with them had names of beneficiaries from Azampura and Sultanpura alone, and was prepared in consultation with local leaders.

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