Compulsory Aadhaar Card For Rations Scrapped In Jharkhand After Girl Starves To Death

| October 22 , 2017 , 10:54 IST

Weeks after an 11-year-old girl died allegedly due to starvation in Jharkhand's Simdega district because her family was refused rations as they did not have Aadhaar card, the state PDS minister has passed an order against the compulsory linking of Aadhaar cards and ration cards.

State PDS Minister Saryu Roy passed an order citing a central government order of February 8 according to which beneficiaries for PDS can submit any approved identity document to avail their entitled rations.

The order passed by Roy clarified that while the February 8 circular issued by the Union Ministry of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution said that the linking of Aadhaar cards with ration cards would be intensified, the circular did not state that anyone should be denied rations for not having an Aadhaar card.

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Therefore those who are eligible, can avail of their quota by submitting any approved identity document such as an Aadhaar application slip, Aadhaar enrollment number, voter ID, driving licence, passpor, PAN card, Kisan Photo Passbook, an authenticated letter by a tehsildar or a gazetted officer, or any other document approved by the state or central government.

“The direction of the Government of India is absolutely clear… It shows the sensitivity of the Government to ensure that the beneficiaries keep getting rations under any circumstance. However, at the state level, it reflects an acute of lack of sensitivity among the responsible officers, which is sad,” the order said.

Saryu Roy added that he has asked officials to review the 11.5 lakh ration cards that had been cancelled since their linking with the Aadhaar cards was launched.

 “The figure has been mentioned in the 1,000-day booklet of the government. But I was waiting for a break-up of this number before approving the file. This has not been done yet. Now, I have asked officials to review the whole thing and find out how many cards have got cancelled due to non-availability of Aadhaar,” Roy said.