The new UID system, also called as the ‘Aadhaar’ card, has swept through the nation and has been claimed by the government to make things easier for the citizens. However, for people like Sajida Begum, things have become even more difficult after this system became mandatory. The 65-year-old woman has been living at the Leprosy Hospital on Magadi Road for the past 10 years where her family left her and nobody ever has come to visit.
This leprosy patient’s only sustenance is the Rs. 1,000 pension that she gets every month. Three months ago, this was stopped for the lack of an Aadhaar card. Sajida has lost her fingers and also her sight to the debilitating disease, reported the New Indian Express. In August this year, she got a letter from the deputy tahsildar’s office in Rajajinagar that her pension would stop in seven days if she failed to link it with her Aadhaar card. Sajida has no card. Fingerprint and iris scan are mandatory for Aadhaar verification, but Sajida doesn’t have those biometrics.
Dr Ayub Ali Zai, administrative medical officer, Leprosy Hospital, said, “She buys clothes and meets her meagre needs with that money. But since August she hasn’t received pension. She is totally blind in both the eyes, has no fingers or toes. I don’t know how her biometric identification can be done.” Zai wrote a letter to UIDAI officials requesting them to exempt her from biometric verification considering her problem. “We don’t know if this is just an administrative delay in sending pension or if they have stopped it,” he added.
Sajida sobded when she was asked about her family. “I don’t know where my daughter and son-in-law are. Nobody comes to see me. Please give me my money,” she cried.The 100-bed hospital currently has 57 inmates, and Zai says at least 10 of them have no Aadhaar card. Zai said, “There is another patient called Rajanna who doesn’t have an Aadhaar card and has received the same letter from the tahsildar’s office