Kerala’s Wayanad becomes first district in country to provide basic documents to all tribal people

1,42,563 services rendered to 64,670 beneficiaries as part of Akshaya Big Campaign for Document Digitisation campaign in district

January 20, 2023 07:52 pm | Updated 11:06 pm IST - KALPETTA

Wayanad Sub-collector R. Sreelakshmi collecting details of tribal persons attending an Akshaya Big Campaign for Document Digitisation campaign organised by the district administration at Pozhuthana.

Wayanad Sub-collector R. Sreelakshmi collecting details of tribal persons attending an Akshaya Big Campaign for Document Digitisation campaign organised by the district administration at Pozhuthana. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Wayanad becomes the first district in the country to provide basic documents and facilities such as Aadhaar cards, ration cards, birth/death certificates, election ID cards, bank accounts and health insurance to all tribespeople.

The Wayanad district administration has attained the meritorious achievement by providing 1,42,563 services to as many as 64,670 tribal beneficiaries as part of the Akshaya Big Campaign for Document Digitisation (ABCD) campaign. This includes ration cards to 15,796 families, Aadhar cards to 31,252, birth certificates to 11,300, voters’ identity cards to 22,488 and digital locker facilities to 22,888 persons through the ABCD campaign. The drive was launched in November 2021 at Thondarnadu grama panchayat.

Rajan, 38, an uneducated tribal person of the Kunduvayal hamlet, and his family at Meenangadi grama panchayat have been living in a makeshift hut covered with plastic sheets on his relative’s land. Though there are various projects being executed for the landless tribal families and many of his friends and relatives have availed themselves of the incentives, Rajan said he had been denied these, including free rationing during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to lack of documents.

“I had attended the ABCD campaign organised by the Wayanad district administration at Meenangadi a few weeks ago as directed by a tribal promoter. As I have now received basic documents such as Aadhar card and ration card, I can avail myself of the government incentives,” he said.

Shruthisha, 28, a tribal woman of Godavari tribal hamlet at Thavinhal grama panchayat, had lost her ration card during the 2018 floods. Though she had approached many offices for a new one, she was denied it owing to “technical reasons.” However, she has now received not only a ration card but also other facilities such as bank account, health insurance and welfare pension for her father from an ABCD campaign. The officials have also uploaded all the documents in a digital locker.

“We have organised 26 campaigns across the district so far with the support of the Revenue and Tribal Development departments, District IT Mission, and local administrative bodies,” A. Geetha, Wayanad District Collector told The Hindu.

The campaign is aimed at ensuring basic documents to all citizens belonging to the Scheduled Tribes communities and these documents are digitalised and saved in DigiLocker accounts opened for them, said Ms. Geetha.

Since all the relevant departments are brought under one roof in a camp, each beneficiary gets all the needed services at the camp itself, saving them the time and effort of visiting several offices, according to R. Sreelakshmi, Wayanad Sub-collector.

Apart from the basic documents, other services such as income certificates, ownership certificates, age certificates, and applications for new pensions are also provided at the camps, said Ms. Sreelakshmi, also the nodal officer of the programme.

Digitalising the documents through DigiLocker will help the beneficiaries easily retrieve the documents in case these are lost or damaged, she added.

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