Help pours in for Bengaluru leprosy patient who lost pension as she had no iris, fingers for Aadhaar

Sajidha, who lost her fingers and eyesight, was informed that her pension of Rs 1,000 per month would stop if she failed to link it with her Aadhaar, for which fingerprint and iris scan are a must.

Published: 04th December 2017 03:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2017 12:35 PM   |  A+A-

Sajidha, who lost her fingers and eyesight, was informed that her pension of Rs 1,000 per month would stop if she failed to link it with her Aadhaar, for which fingerprint and iris scan are a must. (Express Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after Express reported the plight of Sajida Begum (65), a leprosy patient in Magadi Road’s Leprosy Hospital whose pension was stopped for lack of an Aadhaar card, the Revenue Secretary and the Unique Identification Department of the Centre for e-Governance said they would look into the matter.

READ HERE | No fingers or iris for Aadhaar, Bengaluru woman loses pension

READ HERE  | Express Impact: UIDAI to consider leprosy patient Sajida Begum as special case

The story that was extensively shared on social media saw many netizens coming forward to help. On one of the news aggregators alone it had received 6,800 shares on Facebook. A reader has also come forward to send her a monthly allowance. Sajida has lost her fingers and also her sight to the debilitating disease.

In August this year, she got a letter from the deputy tahsildar’s office in Rajajinagar that her pension of Rs 1,000 per month (her only sustenance) would stop if she failed to link it with her Aadhaar card for which fingerprint and iris scan are mandatory. She has no card.   

An official at the treasury department said that pensions are cleared latest by the fifth of every month. “There are 80 lakh people in the database. It comes under the department of social security and pensions. It is difficult to track a case without the pension number. If she has not got pension for three months, it must have been suspended. It needs to be checked. The case is being looked into by the UID,” he said.

Rathan Kelkar, Director, National Health Mission told Express, “I have brought it to the notice of the Centre for e-Governance. The officials there told me they found similar cases of leprosy patients in Chamarajanagar. So they will have to find a solution.”

Netizens seek details to aid leprosy patient

Netizens have opened their hearts to Sajida Begum (65), a leprosy patient in Magadi Road’s Leprosy Hospital whose pension was stopped for lack of an Aadhaar card.The story that was extensively shared on social media saw a lot ofnetizens coming forward to help. Five FB users were searching for the contact of the hospitalauthorities in order to get in touch with the helpless woman. Among those were Dee Sharma from Kirori Mal College in Delhi, Neha Barve Vyas, Falak Rabnawaz, Senior Financial
Adviser at Bajaj Capital Limited, Noushad Faizal, Lab Technician at Nestle Dubai ManufacturingLtd, and Ashvini Shrivastava.

While Neha wrote on Facebook, “I would like to help her. Is it possible to get in touch with her in anyway?”, Falak wrote, “Please tell us how we can help her or send money to her.”
Noushad said, “Kindly provide her account details. I will transfer the amount to her account monthly. If she doesn’t have an account, please give the address.” Dee Sharma wrote, “So painful and disturbing. I am trying to get the details.”

28-year-old Yogesh Ranganath contacted Express in order to send her monthly allowance. “I want to help her in a personal capacity. I will visit her on Monday and give the money directly to her,” he said.
Some activists have even approached a senior TNIE Hyderabad’s journalist offering help for the leprosy patient.

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