Tribespeople of Wayanad get official documents under Akshaya campaign

Ration cards, Aadhaar cards, voters’ identity cards, birth certificates, and health insurance documents being distributed to marginalised sections in the district

November 11, 2022 09:32 pm | Updated 09:32 pm IST - KALPETTA

An ABCD campaign held in Poothadi grama panchayat in Wayanad district.

An ABCD campaign held in Poothadi grama panchayat in Wayanad district. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Wayanad district administration is scripting a success saga in providing basic official documents to tribespeople under its Akshaya Big Campaign for Document Digitalisation (ABCD).

The programme envisages providing basic documents such as ration cards, Aadhaar cards, voters’ identity cards, birth certificates, health insurance documents, and bank accounts to all tribespeople in the district and keeping the documents in a digi-locker with the support of various departments, tribal promoters, and volunteers.

“Many a time a large number of tribal people were denied services and incentives from government agencies owing to absence of documents,” said District Collector A. Geetha.

“During my visits to tribal hamlets, many a resident raised the issue before me,” Ms. Geetha said.

Finally, the district administration launched a three-day campaign with the support of Thondarnadu grama panchayat, IT Mission, Akshaya district project office, and the Tribal Development department in November last year to address the concerns of the marginalised sections.

“When we launched the campaign, as many as 749 persons had been denied documents, and a few of them had lost them in natural calamities like floods. We were able to provide 3,707 services to them during the campaign, including issuing new ration cards to 144 families, Aadhaar cards to 449 persons, birth certificates to 281 persons, and election identity cards to 213 persons,” Wayanad Sub Collector R. Srelakshmi said.

Digi-lockers were also provided to each family to keep their documents after the camp with the assistance of NSS volunteers. They will enable them to retrieve documents if they lose them, Ms. Srelakshmi said.

The second campaign was held, after an interval of nearly four months owing to the pandemic, in Vythiri grama panchayat, and it was also a huge success. As many as 881 beneficiaries got various services during the campaign, she said.

Later, the two civic bodies were declared as the first two grama panchayat in the country that provided essential official documents to all tribespeople. It encouraged other civic bodies to allot funds for the campaign, and it also motivated the district administration to expand the project.

When the campaign was completed in nine of the 26 civic bodies in the district, it could lend 37,208 services to 18,315 people, Ms. Srelakshmi, who is also the nodal officer of the programme, said.

“We are planning to complete the campaign by the end of January after providing documents to all tribespeople in the district,” she added.

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