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Activists challenge SC order on Aadhaar to make it mandatory for welfare schemes

As members of various campaigns working with vulnerable groups, we were hoping and expecting that the Supreme Court would decisively prohibit the mandatory use of Aadhaar for social benefits. A large body of evidence, provided to the court, shows that the mandatory use of Aadhaar and biometrics for this purpose is leading to large-scale exclusion, new forms of corruption, and extra delays and hardship for people in accessing their entitlements.

 

We are therefore extremely disappointed that the court has upheld the constitutionality of section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, which allows the state to make the use of Aadhaar and biometric authentication mandatory for citizens to receive social benefits.

 

We see the mandatory use of Aadhaar as an example of how the poor are unable to have their voice heard in the policy framework. This imposition has led to extreme distress and even death in many cases. The total numbers of people negatively affected by the mandatory use of Aadhaar runs into the hundreds of thousands and it is therefore not a small issue either in intensity or in numbers.  Aadhaar has also led to many problems in the linking of bank accounts and people’s entitlements going into the wrong accounts.

 

We come together to let it be known that we intend to make Aadhaar an electoral issue. We intend to ask people on the ground who have been the victims of this huge experiment to make it clear during the elections that they will target parties who have thrust the mandatory use of Aadhaar upon them.

 

We intend to go to all political parties with a single agenda on Aadhaar, demanding that the Aadhaar Act be amended so that the mandatory or compulsory use of Aadhaar is clearly prohibited.

 

We announce today a collective campaign, with a demand that all political parties make a categorical committment to amend the Aadhaar Act so that there is no mandatory use of biometric authentication or Aadhaar for social benefits. We strongly believe that people should be allowed multiple forms of identity and authentication in order to be able to access their benefits. We also believe that the best possible way of fighting corruption is through decentralized, open, transparent systems that ensure transparency and accountability of the schemes and implementing agencies to local communities and the people.

 

As has been repeatedly shown, the figures of “savings” due to Aadhaar presented by the government stand no scrutiny. If this system has really stopped “billions of dollars in corruption” as is being claimed, many criminal cases should have been filed, fraudsters should have been prosecuted, and recoveries made. Instead, undistributed entitlements due to exclusion are being passed off as “savings”. We demand accountability and compensation for those who have been excluded due to Aadhaar,including those who have been denied their wages, food or pensions, and had to run around to be able to access their basic entitlements.

 

While we are also very concerned about issues of commercial exploitation of data and surveillance due to Aadhaar,the exclusion problems caused by the mandatory use of Aadhaar amount to an emergency. That is why we call upon people to come together to pressurize all parties to amend the Aadhaar Act immediately, so that the mandatory use of Aadhaar for accessing basic entitlements is completely prohibited.

 

 

Endorsed by:

  1. Kavita Srivastava – Convener, Right to Food Campaign, PUCL
  2. Dipa Sinha – Convener Right to Food Campaign, Ambedkar University of Delhi
  3. Kamayani Keki – Association for India’s Development
  4. R. Baidya – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  5. Aabida Khatoon – Advocate, New Delhi
  6. Abha Bhaiya – Jagori
  7. Abidali Patel – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  8. Aditya Srivastava – Right to Food Campaign
  9. Adsa Fatima – Concerned Citizen, India
  10. Afsar Jafri – Focus on the Global South
  11. Akhay Mukherjee – Durbar Mahila Samanvaya Committee
  12. All India Democratic Women’s Association
  13. Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture
  14. Alphanosa Kumari – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata, Right to Food Campaign West Bengal
  15. Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
  16. Alwyn D’Souza – Head, Human Rights and Training Unit, Indian Social Institure – Bangalore
  17. Amit Dasgupta – CPIML
  18. Ambarish Rai – Right to Education Forum
  19. Amit Kumar – National Alliance of People’s Movement
  20. Amita Buch – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  21. Amitranjan Basu -Concerned Citizen, India
  22. Amreen Murad – Concerned Citizen, India
  23. Amrita Jain – Alliance for People’s Rights
  24. Amrita Johri – Satark Nagrik Sangathan, NCPRI and Right to Food Campaign
  25. Anand Mazgaonkar – Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti
  26. Anees George – Kerala State Garhika Thozilali Union
  27. Anil Chamadia – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  28. Anjali Acharya – Right to Food Campaign, Madhya Pradesh
  29. Anjali Bapat – Alliance for People’s Rights
  30. Anjali Bhardwaj – Satark Nagrik Sangathan, NCPRI and Right to Food Campaign
  31. Ankur Sarin – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  32. Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan – (ASAA), Gujarat
  33. Annie Raja – National Federation of Indian Women
  34. Anuja Shah – Alliance for People’s Rights
  35. Anukriti Dixit – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  36. Anumeha Yadav – Concerned Citizen, India
  37. Anup Kumar Srivastava – Social Activist and Legal Aid Counsel, Delhi
  38. Anupama Potluri – Concerned Citizen, India
  39. Anuradha Talwar – Paschim Bnaga Khet Mazdoor Samiti, Right to Food Campaign
  40. Archana Sardar – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  41. Aruna Burte – Concerned Citizen, India
  42. Aruna Roy – Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
  43. Arundhati Dhuru – National Alliance of People’s Movements, Right to Food Campaign, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
  44. Arundhati V – Member, Federation of Theatre of the Oppressed
  45. Ashish Kothari – Kalpavriksh
  46. Ashok Choudhary – All India of Forest Working People
  47. Astabala Maity – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  48. Aysha – Right to Food Campaign, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
  49. Babu Mathew, NLSIU
  50. Babulal Naga – Vividha Feature, Jaipur
  51. Bela Adak – Pasudschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  52. Bharat Chintan – Concerned Citizen, India
  53. Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti
  54. Bidyut Mohanty – Right to Food Campaign, Odisha
  55. Biswanath Soren – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata
  56. Bittu Karthik – Karnataka Janashakti
  57. Brinelle D’souza – Concerned Citizen, India
  58. Chakradhar – Libtech, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
  59. Chandrasekhar Bhattacharya – Journalist
  60. Chandrasmita Chowdhury – AIPWA
  61. Charul Bharwada – Loknaad
  62. Chhaya Datar – Concerned Citizen, India
  63. Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) Chennai
  64. D Thankappan – Kamani Employees Union
  65. Debmalya Nandi – Concerned Citizen
  66. Deepa Sonplal – Unnati
  67. Deepak Yatri – Cultural Artist and concerned citizen, New Delhi
  68. Dev Desai – ANHAD
  69. Devabrat Sharma  – Asom Majoori Shramik Union
  70. Dipankar Bhattacharya – General Secretary, CPIML
  71. Amitabha Basu – New Delhi
  72. Antima – New Delhi
  73. Anupam Saraph – Concerned Citizen
  74. Indu Prakash Singh – Facilitator at CityMakers Mission International, President, Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT)
  75. Neetu Sharma – Centre for the Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  76. Soma KP – Concerned Citizen, India
  77. Sylvia Karpagam – Public Health Doctor and Researcher, Bangalore, Right to Food Campaign
  78. Vandana Prasad – Concerned Citizen
  79. V.N.Sharma – Concerned Citizen, India
  80. Dunu Roy – Hazards Centre
  81. Dyuti – Concerned Citizen, India
  82. Elizabeth – Nari Shakti Manch
  83. Elizabeth Sangita Paul – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata
  84. Fahimuddin – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  85. Jothi SJ – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata, Right to Food Campaign
  86. Pascal xalxo – HLDRC, West Bengal
  87. Garment and Fashion Workers Union – NTUI
  88. Gautam Mody – New Trade Union Initiative
  89. Ghulam Nabi Azad – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  90. Girish Ashtekar – Siemens Workers Union
  91. Goldy M George – Concerned Citizen, India
  92. Gopal Barman – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  93. Hardeep Singh – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  94. Himshi Singh – National Alliance of People’s Movements
  95. Imrana Qadeer – CSD
  96. Jacintha Kumarswamy – Concerned Citizen, India
  97. Jaisree Kumar – Concerned Citizen, Kerala
  98. Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan – Bihar
  99. Janchetna Sansthan
  100. Janvi Andharia – Concerned Citizen, Noida
  101. Javed – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  102. Jayati Ghosh – Concerned Citizen, India
  103. Jean Dreze – Activist
  104. Jeevika Shiv – Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan, Gujarat
  105. Jharna Pathak – Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group, Gujarat
  106. Joykumar Wahengbam – Concerned Citizen, India
  107. Joynur Bibi – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  108. Joyraj Bhattacharya – Theatre Activist
  109. Kabi Cuddy Facilitator, CityMakers Mission International President, Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT) Devatwa
  110. Kakali Bhattacharya – SWAYAM
  111. Kamayani Bali Mahabal – Feminist and Human Righst Activist
  112. Kanai Halder – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  113. Karuna DW – Concerned Citizen, India
  114. Karuna Sengupta – PBMS
  115. Kavita Gupta – Concerned Citizen, India
  116. Kavita Krishnan – AIPWA
  117. Khadija Khatun – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  118. Khairun Nisha – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  119. Khusilal Sardar – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  120. Kinnari Pandya – Alliance for People’s Rights
  121. Kiran Shaheen – Concerned Citizen, India
  122. Koninika Ray – National Federation of Indian Women
  123. Krishna Bansal – Alliance for People’s Rights
  124. Kumar Rana – Pratichi Trust
  125. Lakshmi Krishnamurty – Concerned Citizen, India
  126. Lata Singh – Concerned Citizen, India
  127. Linda Chhakchhuak – Concerned Citizen, India
  128. M Sreekumar – Kerala State and Cleaning Destination Workers Union
  129. M Subbu – Tamil Manila Kattida Thozhilalargal Sangam
  130. Sharif Desai – Mahar Credit & Supply Co. Op. Society Ltd.
  131. Madhavi Yennapu – Concerned Citizen, India
  132. MADHU BHUSHAN – Concerned Citizen, India
  133. Madhuresh – National Convener, National Alliance of People’s Movements
  134. MAGP GUJARAT Pankti Jog
  135. Maherunnisa Desai – AMWA
  136. Malay Tiwari – CPIML
  137. Mamta Singh – Humsafar, Uttar Pradesh, Right to Food Campaign
  138. Manas Das – Asom Majoori Shramik Union
  139. Manasi Pingle – Concerned Citizen, India
  140. Manjula Pradeep – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  141. Manoj Kumar Singh – Journalist, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
  142. Manshi Asher – Concerned Citizen, India
  143. Mariam Dhawale – General Secretary, AIDWA
  144. Mayuri – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  145. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan – Rajasthan
  146. Meena – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  147. Meera Sanghamitra – Concerned Citizen, India
  148. Mehnaz – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  149. Milan Dutta – Journalist
  150. Mini Mathew – Concerned Citizen, India
  151. Mira Shiva – Concerned Citizen, India
  152. Mitraranjan – Right to Education Forum
  153. Mohammad Shafi Khan – Jammu & Kashmir Trade Union Centre
  154. Mohan Lal – KSEB Karar Thozilali Federation
  155. Mohini – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  156. Molina Pramanik – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  157. Mridula Bajaj – Alliance for People’s Rights
  158. Mudita Vidrohi – Gujarat Lok Samiti
  159. N Vasudvan – Blue Star Workers Union
  160. Nabanita Mukherjee – Sahoman
  161. Nachiket Udupa – Concerned Citizen, India
  162. Nadeem – All India People’s Forum
  163. Namita Halder – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  164. Namita Mandal – TUCC
  165. National Alliance of People’s Movements
  166. National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights
  167. National Campaign for Protection of Right to Information
  168. National Federation of Indian Women
  169. Neeta Hardikar – Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan, Gujarat
  170. Neha Shah – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  171. Nikhil Dey – Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
  172. Nimmi Chauhan – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  173. Nirjhari Sinha – Chair, Jan Sangharsh Manch, Gujarat
  174. Nisha – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  175. Nisha Biswas – Concerned Citizen, India
  176. Nita Mahadev – Gujarat Loksamiti
  177. Nityanand Jayaraman, Chennai Solidarity Group
  178. NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
  179. Om Prakash Singh – Concerned Citizen, India
  180. Om Prakash – Concerned Citizen, India
  181. Pabitra  kr Mandal – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  182. Padma Velaskar – Concerned Citizen, India
  183. Pallav Bhattacharya – Advocate Consultant
  184. Pallavi Sobti Rajpal – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  185. Paromita Dasgupta – PBMS
  186. Paromita Dutta – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata
  187. Parveen – Concerned Citizen
  188. Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity
  189. Paul Lakra – HLDRC, West Bengal
  190. Penn Thozhilalargal Sangam – Garment and Fashion Workers Union, Chennai
  191. Pension Parishad
  192. Pradip Pradhan – Concerned Citizen, India
  193. Pradip Roy – TUCC
  194. Prafulla Samantara – An Activist
  195. Pragnya Senior Research Associate Technical Support Unit ANANDI- Area Networking and Development Initiatives
  196. Praavita Kashyap – Rethink Aadhaar
  197. Prathibha Sivasubramanian – Concerned Citizen, India
  198. Pratibha R – Garments and Textile Workers Union
  199. Priyangee Guha – Concerned Citizen, India
  200. Priyanka Samy – People’s Budget Initiative, New Delhi
  201. Provita Kundu – Alliance for People’s Rights
  202. Punit Minz – Concerned Citizen, India
  203. Rabindranath chakrabarty – TUCC
  204. Radha Holla Bhar – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  205. Radhika Ganesh – Ek Potli Ret Ki
  206. Rajalakshmi Sriram – Department of Human Development and Family Studies, M.S. University of Baroda
  207. Rajendran Narayanan – Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  208. Rajendra Singh – Concerned Citizen, Uttar Pradesh
  209. Rajkishore Mishra – Right to Food Campaign, Odisha
  210. Rama Debnath – Durbar Mahila Samanvaya Committee
  211. Ranjit Sur – APDR
  212. Ranu Jain – Concerned Citizen, India
  213. Ratnaboli Ray – Anjali Organisation
  214. Ravindra Patwal – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  215. Reetika Khera – Rethink Aadhaar
  216. Rethink Aadhaar
  217. Right to Food Campaign – Bihar
  218. Right to Food Campaign – Chhattisgarh
  219. Right to Food Campaign – Karnataka
  220. Right to Food Campaign, Madhya Pradesh
  221. Rita Banerjee – 50 Million Missing
  222. Ritu Dewan – Concerned Citizen, India
  223. Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Researcher and Writer
  224. Roma – All India of Forest Working Peoplel
  225. Rosamma Thomas – Journalist
  226. Roseina – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  227. Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan – Uttar Pradesh
  228. Q. Masood – Centre for Peace Studies
  229. Sachin Jain – Right to Food Campaign, Madhya Pradesh
  230. Sadhna Arya – Concerned Citizen, India
  231. Sagar Besra – Jharkhand Krantikari Mazdoor Union
  232. SAHAYOG
  233. Sahiyar Stree Sangathan
  234. Samar Bagchi – Concerned Citizen, India
  235. Samim Ahmed – Writer
  236. Samir – Right to Food Campaign, Chhattisgarh
  237. Sandip Singha – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  238. Sandipan Paul – Alliance for People’s Rights
  239. Sangram Mandal – Sahamon
  240. Sarita Kumari – Sashaktnari blogspot
  241. Sarojini N – Concerned Citizen, India
  242. Savitri Ray – Alliance for People’s Right
  243. Sejal Dand – Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, Gujarat, Right to Food Campaign
  244. Sejal Dave – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  245. Shabnam Hashmi – Social activist
  246. Shakun D – Concerned Citizen, India
  247. Shakun Doundiyakhed – Concerned Citizen, India
  248. Sharada Gopal – Right to Food Campaign, Karnataka
  249. Sharik Laliwala – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  250. Shashi Patwal – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  251. Shishir Dhavle – Sarva Shramik Sangh
  252. Shobha R – Concerned Citizen, India
  253. Shreya Sen – NAZDEEK
  254. Shumona Goel – Concerned Citizen, India
  255. Shyamasree Das – PBMS
  256. Siraj Dutta – Right to Food Campaign, Jharkhand
  257. Smita Pandya – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  258. Snehal Shah – Concerned Citizen, India
  259. Somnath Baskey – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  260. Sophia Khan – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  261. Soumi Jana – Right to Food Campaign, West Bengal
  262. Srinivas Kodali – Concerned Citizen, India
  263. Stan Swami – An activist, Jharkhand
  264. Subhash Gurav – Sakhar Kamgar Union
  265. Suchitra Halder – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  266. Sudarshana Chakraborty – Journalist
  267. Sudeshna Dutta – Sohoman
  268. Sudeshnasen Gupta – Individual Researcher, New Delhi
  269. Sudha Arora – Concerned Citizen, India
  270. Sudhansu Chakrabarty – Durbar Mahila Samanvaya Committee
  271. Sudhir Vombatkere – Concerned Citizen, India
  272. Sujata Chiti – Udayani Social Action Forum, Kolkata
  273. Sujata Mody – Garments and Fashion Workers Union
  274. Sukla Sen – Peace Activist, Mumbai
  275. Suman Sengupta – Sahoman
  276. Sumitra Mishra – Alliance for People’s Right
  277. Sunetra Deshpande – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  278. Sunita Singh – Right to Food Campaign, Uttar Pradesh
  279. Surabhi Vaya – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  280. Suresh – Viklang Andolan, Rajasthan
  281. Sushila – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  282. Sushila – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  283. Sushma – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  284. Sushovan Chaudhuri – Marcom Consultant
  285. Swapan Halder – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  286. Swapna – APDR
  287. Swapna Naiya – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  288. Swarna Rajagopalan – The Prajnya Trust, Chennai
  289. Swati Narayan – Right to Food Campaign
  290. Tanushree Gangopadhyay – Concerned Citizen, Gujarat
  291. Tara Dey – PBMS
  292. Tarun Bharatiya, Thma U Rangli Juki (Meghalaya) – Workers power of Meghalaya
  293. Tarun Bhartiya – Concerned Citizen, India
  294. Tultul Biswas – Concerned Citizen, India
  295. Tushar Chakraborty – Scientist
  296. Ujwala Kadrekar – Concerned Citizen, India
  297. Ulka Mahajan – Sarvhara Jan Andolan, Maharashtra
  298. Uma Chandru – Concerned Citizen, India
  299. Uma Maane – Kshitij Organisation
  300. Uma –National Alliance of People’s Movements
  301. Umesh Babu – Concerned Citizen, New Delhi
  302. Uttam Gayen – Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity
  303. Vandana Kulkarni – Concerned Citizen, India
  304. Vandana Kulkarni – Concerned Citizen, India
  305. Vandana Mahajan – Concerned Citizen, India
  306. Vani Subramanian – Concerned Citizen, India
  307. Vijay Mandal – Concerned Citizen, India
  308. Vikalp (Women’s Group) – Vadodara
  309. Vinay Baindur – Concerned Citizen, India
  310. Vinay Mahajan – Loknaad
  311. Vinay Sreenivasa – Concerned Citizen, India
  312. Vinayak Pawar – Concerned Citizen,  Mumbai
  313. vindhyala jaya – PUCL
  314. Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli
  315. Zakia Soman – Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
  316. Zakiya Kurrien – Alliance for People’s Rights

 

 

Steering Committee of the Right to Food Campaign:

National Networks: Kavita Srivastava and Dipa Sinha (Conveners – Steering Committee), Annie Raja and Koninika Ray (National Federation for Indian Women), Harini and Olivia (Human Right Law Network), Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj, (National Campaign for People’s Right)

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