Utter chaos prevailed at the two-day Aadhaar adalat that commenced at the civil station on Wednesday as it was ill-equipped and poorly organised. Launched by Akshaya to sort out the errors and confusion in Aadhaar cards, it failed to serve its purpose. Tired of waiting in the congested civil station, the crowd turned violent. The Akshaya officials could not even guide them properly. The authorities were handicapped with only seven systems and 20 staff to verify the errors of over 1000 cards.
Before noon, thousands flocked to the Collectorate from across the district but the officials could only verify the details of about 100 people by then due to dearth of facilities. Some even fainted. “They should have known that old people, children and even pregnant women would attend. They could have provided at least some chairs, drinking water and toilet facilities,” said a pregnant Elby from Piravom who had come to rectify a mistake in her card. “My husband could not take leave and I have left my toddler at home. We have already spent many days on the Aadhaar card” she said. For Thevan, procuring the Aadhaar card was a means of earning his bread. He too came from Piravom for getting the card for his mother and himself. “I could not bring my mother as she is seriously ill. We are eligible for farmers pension. But as per the new rule Aadhaar card is mandatory for it. They should not have done this to us,“ he said. Though many were directed to the Akshaya centres in their respective places, they headed for the adalat as they were asked to.
Justin, an official with FACT, from Tripunithura asked, “When will the authorities learn to do their duty efficiently.” “We are being literally tortured in the name of Aadhaar card and we have been running from pillar to post for it. Now the government has made it mandatory to avail many grants and LPG subsidy. Instead of being a help, the authorities have made a mockery of the whole system,” the angry mob said. They also pointed out that the government could have initiated measures to sort out the Aadhaar issues at the panchayat-level.
When asked, K A Ibrahim, district coordinator, Akshaya Centre, said that they were trying their best to sort out the issue. “We did not expect the huge crowd. We have been shouldering the huge responsibity single-handedly and the government has not intervened so far. The government should wake up to the reality,” he said.