Residents of two localities in Yerwada perplexed as drunk men identifying themselves as ‘social workers’, turn up to deliver UID card
Posted On Friday, July 06, 2012 at 08:30:32 AM
When her doorbell rang, last Monday, Sheetal Kamble opened the door to find a stranger at her doorstep. “He was reeking of alcohol,” she recalls. If she found that offensive, there was more to come.
The inebriated young man was there to deliver her ‘Aadhar card’ — the unique identification card, which is considered a vital document for the future and a highly confidential one at that.
Kamble mistook the man for an employee of the Postal Department, only to be told that he was just a ‘social worker’ passing on the document.
What is worrying is that Kamble is not the only recipient of this unlikely courier. Residents of Panchsheel Nagar and Hussain Shah Baba Nagar, located at Commerzone in Yerwada have been answering doors to unidentified youth showing up with their Aadhar cards, mostly after 9 pm. These strangers identify themselves as ‘social workers’, but the residents are not impressed.
They are aware that the job of distribution of the Aadhar cards has been given to the postal department. They do not understand how and when these so called “social workers” became bonafide couriers of the critical document.
To Ratnamala Chavan, who like Kamble lives in Hussain Shah Baba Nagar, this trend smacks of sheer irresponsibility on the part of the postal department. “What happens if our Aadhar cards are lost?” she asked. “Worse, what if they are found in wrong hands? At that time, the police will not take our word and instead make trouble for us,” she expressed her fears.
Kuldeep Ghodke, a resident of Panchsheel Nagar, is equally indignant. The Yerwada suburban post office has a pile of Aadhar cards lying around undelivered, he says.
“The postal department has devised an ingenious strategy to shirk their responsibility and outsourced it to strangers masquerading as social groups,” he observed. He too is worried.
“Who will guarantee that our Aadhar card will not get photcopied by strangers and used for their own purpose?” he asked. Ghodke is planning to petition the postal department and the state government over the issue.
The outgoing Deputy Commissioner for Aadhar Cards, Pravin Ashtikar points out that there has been agreement between the State and Union governments that the postal department would be the agency for distribution of Aadhar cards. “Individuals and social organisations cannot do it as it is to be sent only by post to the bonafide holder ,” he added.
Post Master General (Pune Division), Colonel (Retired) KC Mishra says that he is unaware of the development. “I need to find out the details,” he agreed. But K C Kamble, Senior Superintendent of Post, Pune division (East) is categorical that the postal department has not outsourced the responsibility of card distribution to any social organisation. “The cards are being sent by post and not being distributed by the social organisations,” he insisted.
Last year Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had raised doubts about safety of the data collected as part of the unique identification programme. His face-off with Nandan Nilekani, Chairperson, Unique Identity Authority of India, got finally resolved early this year. Now it turns out that the security of the Aadhar card is getting compromised by another arm of the government.