Sunil Sudhakaran could apply for an education grant if he get his Aadhaar card number. It is made mandatory for the process. But to his shock, though he had already applied for it months back, he did not receive it yet and hence couldn’t avail himself of the grant.
This is not an isolated event. Many similar cases where people find their requests for assistance stuck in red tape for want of Aadhaar card or UID are being reported. According to sources, around two lakh Aadhaar cards have piled up at various post offices across the district.
Besides educational grants, Aadhaar card has become a prerequisite for various pension schemes like Social Security Pensions. From July onwards, the subsidies given for LPG will be made online and the Aadhaar card will play a huge role for availing the subsidies.
Pregnant women will find themselves in a soup as they will not be able to garner various financial assistance provided by the government without an Aadhaar card. Besides, the Education Department has made Aadhaar cards mandatory for students too.
Realising the gravity of the situation, many people come to the post office to collect their cards from the pile. “But, not all can frequent the post office and search their cards. Primarily, it is a Herculean task both for the public and the Postal Department. And, many are still unaware that they could check with the post office for their cards,” they said.
However, K M Ebrahim, assistant district coordinator, Akshaya Kendra Ernakulam, said there is a provision for getting Aadhaar card online. “Most of them are totally unaware that what they require is a unique identification number. They can get it from the website http://uidai.gov.in/
They have to search for e-Aadhaar link. It will ask for the applicant’s phone number to verify. After verification, a one-time password will be allotted and the applicant can down load the Aaadhaar card,” he said. Any Akshaya centre will help to download the Aadhaar card, he added.
What PO says
Though the Postal Department is doing everything possible, the dearth of postmen has affected its distribution of the cards. “We are doing everything possible to dispense of the cards,” said an employee with the Postal Department.
Meanwhile, they added that the situation aggravated when people, reacting to reports that appeared in dailies about the accumulation of Aadhar cards in post offices.
“Many protested against it by scooping away several cards from the pile because of which many cards were lost,” they said.