Homeless people wait for months for their Aadhar cards

Homeless people wait for months for their Aadhar cards

Survey says 50 pc of them did not get their UID cards within the 90-day deadline

At least 50 per cent of homeless in south Delhi who enrolled under the Unique Identification Number (UID) project have not received their cards since January, 2011, allege rights groups. According to the UID guidelines, people are supposed to receive their UID cards within three months of applying.

According to a survey by the Delhi government and Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) in south Delhi, around 10,500 National Population Register individual forms and 6,414 family forms were filled in 2011. Later on, biometric finger prints were also taken along with photographs to generate UID cards for everyone who had filled these forms.

However, UID enrolment has been done for only 1,707 people since January 2011 and only half of them have received their cards.

Cards not received yet

Arvind Singh, 40, a homeless who sleeps at the Nizamuddin night shelter, had applied for the UID card last year but has not received it yet. “I have not received my UID card till now while some of my community members have got their cards. Why are we not given the cards when all of us applied for them at the same time?” he asked at the social audit held on Thursday, for assessing the benefits and challenges of the Homeless Resource Centre run in south Delhi.

In another case, Leela Devi, who has got her UID card, said that a wrong name had been printed on her card which could not let her avail basic benefits. She has been trying to get it rectified since two months but officials have failed to help her.

Responding to these issues, Nitesh Duhan, consultant with the Unique Identification Authority of India, said: “Irrespective of whether you have any identity card or not anybody can apply for UID cards. The delay might be because of technical issues and we are trying to rectify it. But we cannot change the name or photograph on these cards.”

Representatives from Samajik Suvidha Sangam and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, who were also present at the social audit, assured that UID benefits will be given to the homeless soon.

Loopholes persist

Rights groups say UID has been useful but loopholes persist. “To ensure that residents in India, especially the marginalised, have valid and reliable proof of identification, the government had initiated the UID programme.

But, there are many loopholes like duplication of cards, technical difficulties which delays delivery of cards,” said Gaurav Pandey, member SPYM.

He further said, “ The three months delay to deliver the cards defeats the purpose sometimes as this is a moving community. When we try to locate the person again after a period of months, he has either left the city or shifted to another district”.