Just days after MiD DAY published a report (‘UID officials snub ragpicker as her hands are too coarse!’, March 19) on how executives manning UID centres were finding it difficult to record fingerprints of ragpickers and daily wage labourers, and were asking them to come later for registration, Chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Nandan Nilekani issued instructions that Aadhaar card registration for labourers need not be stalled for the want of their fingerprints. He instructed the Secretary of Information and Technology Rajesh Aggrawal, through an e-mail, to look into the matter.
Aggarwal then issued an order to the district collectorate, asking the officials to ensure that labourers be exempted from biometric (fingerprints) test if the executives at UID centres failed to record their fingerprints as their fingerprints became untraceable due to scathed and scraped palms, an outcome of hard manual labour.
As per the orders issued by the district collectorate to the municipal commissioners of the PMC and PCMC, it would be mandatory for all the tehsildars and the agencies appointed in the district to register labourers, ragpickers, senior citizens and children for Aadhaar card by selecting the ‘biometric exception’ option for all those who fail to clear biometric test during registration.
Aggarwal said, “UIDAI Chairperson Nilekani received a complaint from an unknown person through an e-mail, along with the clipping of the story published in MiD DAY. He took immediate action and instructions were sent to the district collectorate.”
While Laxmi Narayan, general secretary of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), appreciated the immediate action taken by Nilekani, district Aadhar in-charge Apurva Wankhede said henceforth labourers would not face issues during UID registration.
An appeal was made to the KKPKP, a ragpickers organisation, to make its members aware that they should come along with their identity cards at UID registration centres. And even if their biometric tests failed, they would still be registered.