The central government made Aadhaar card, a biometrics linked ID, compulsory for every citizen in the country. And now people are facing issues because of it. Hundreds of MNREGA rural workers are staging a protest at Jantar Mantar. Protesters at the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha are venting their grievances about challenges with Aadhaar.

People are stressed with how Aadhaar is now mandatory to even avail essential services. However, TOI reports that evidence on the ground tells that it does not function with any measure of efficiency.

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Tukaram, representative of Jagrat Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhya Pradesh, said that the pregnant women of his village faced problems during deliveries as they had to show Aadhaar card to get into a hospital.

“To call the ambulance on the 108 number, we have to produce evidence of Aadhaar registration. One woman worker forgot to carry her Aadhaar card to hospital and did not remember her number, and we were faced with delay in all services,” said Tukaram.

He added that it is causing a lot of trouble to people to link Aadhaar to health, education services and rations.

“Whether it is access to ration or pension or hospital, nothing happens with it. It has become an excuse for government servants to not help.”

“We have to go multiple times and make payments repeatedly. First, we spend hundreds of rupees to make the card as operators ask for money. Then, workers have to go and link it. Aadhaar has become mandatory for almost everything now — from birth certificates to cremation rituals. Even to approach the district court, one has to produce Aadhaar,” he said.

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Delhi-based Pushpa feels that Aadhaar linking is “killing people”. She said, “Whether it is access to ration or pension or hospital, nothing happens with it. It has become an excuse for government servants to not help.”

Uttar Pradesh NREGA workers are facing issues with Aadhaar issue as the MNREGA MIS rejects their wages. It claims that their Aadhaar is “inactive”.

The Aadhaar Act states that the government has the authority to deactivate any Aadhaar number for a reason that it feels is appropriate without giving any prior notice.

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