TRUTH: Another death related to Aadhaar-based Public Distribution System (PDS) has come to light in Jharkhand.
A 67-year-old widow, Etwariya Devi, reportedly died due to starvation in Sonpurwa village of Garhwa district’s Majhiaon block on December 25, after her family was unable to procure food as the Aadhaar-enabled point of sales (PoS) machine could not authenticate the biometrics of her daughter-in-law.
This incident once again proves that problems with Aadhaar authentication are not only leading to the deprivation of much-needed grains to the very needy, but is also resulting in their deaths.
Just a month back, on December 1, a 64-year-old widow, Premani Kunwar, died because of glitches in the alleged Aadhaar-bank integration system.
It happened because the bank had diverted her old-age pension to the account of one Shanti Devi. Shanti Devi was the first wife of Kunwar’s husband and had died 25 years ago.
In October, an 11-year-old allegedly died of starvation Jharkhand’s Simdega District as her family’s ration card was not linked with Aadhaar.
The family was struck off from government welfare rolls for not linking their ration card with the Aadhaar card.
Jharkhand food and civil supplies minister Saryu Roy had admitted to the government’s mistake in this alleged starvation death case.
It is really sad that the method which was assumed to be changing the face if India and provide more transparency is taking lives of the innocent and poor.
What was claimed to be empowering the poor and eradicating the poverty is acting absolutely opposite.
Shouldn’t the government ensure that it is the poor whose ration card should be linked to the Aadhaar first?
Also, it should check the glitches in the system and should fix them at the earliest so that the poor doesn’t suffer.
High time that the government stops publicising its plans and policies and do the ground work first.