VIJAYAWADA: T Durga Prasad has been standing in queue for an Aadhaar application form with his three-year-old daughter for close to four hours. “This is my second visit to Karvy Centre this week,” he says. His previous visit was unsuccessful as only 150 application forms are distributed per day in city. “I had initially gone to the centre in Patamata, but the officials there told me forms were being given only at Labbipet office. I was shocked to see the queues!” explains the father who has been waiting patiently with his now-cranky toddler since 6:30 am.
“It is bad enough that we have to wait long hours, what makes it worse is that there is no one to provide proper information except for a security guard,” fumes Prasad. Ahead of him are 50 odd persons, including 14-month-old Hitesh and his elder brother of four years who fight animatedly even as their visibly tired mother tries to pry them apart. The sudden surge in the number of Aadhaar applications is because nursery admissions have begun and private schools are asking for Aadhaar details in admission forms. Interestingly, the Supreme Court recently passed an order banning government and private schools from seeking Aadhaar details until March 31, 2018 and slated the hearing of all related cases to November-end.
Lawyers TNIE spoke to confirmed that it was illegal for schools to seek Aadhaar details. “According to the SC order, no organisation can do so before April. In fact, parents can register cases against schools for putting them through this ordeal,” says Hyderabad High Court advocate P Raviteja.
Conveniently ignoring the order are a few schools. When contacted, a principal who did not want his private school’s name to be quoted, said the management was asking for the details only because the Education Department had directed so. An official of the department confirmed that they asked for the details. “Yes, we made Aadhaar mandatory. In government schools, students will be availing benefits of various schemes. To regulate that, Aadhaar is a must. Similarly, in private schools, for security reasons we have made it mandatory,” superintendent in charge of private schools Srinivas told TNIE.
‘This is ridiculous!’
Left party leader and MLC Balasubramanyam said, “Firstly, we don’t support the government’s decision of insisting on Aadhaar details for government schemes. Now, it has gone as far as to make private schools demand for Aadhaar details too. There is only one centre in Vijayawada giving away application forms. How do they expect parents to get everything done before the admission process ends? This is ridiculous!”