Thousands of government school students, who missed getting enrolled in the scheme, are denied benefit
Though the Supreme Court has ruled that Aadhaar membership is not mandatory for accessing benefits, thousands of students in Jharkhand government schools who missed enrolling for the scheme, are unable to get scholarships.
Even MGNERGS workers in Ranchi, which was a pilot district in 2011-12 for linking the rural job scheme to Aadhaar, have not been paid through Aadhaar since the government discontinued its pilot in three panchayats here 10 months ago.
Seven scholarship schemes were among the 13 linked to Aadhaar in phase-II of the project begun this year. “In pre-matric scholarships for SC, ST and OBC in Ranchi, Ratu, Nagri, from over 13,000 earlier, now the number of students is 9000, which is worrying. In one school in Ranchi we found the students who had not enrolled [for Aadhaar] had been absent 10-12 days a month. Many of these children worked part-time pulling rickshaws or the girls discreetly worked as domestic help in the morning before attending school,” said an official.
Data from the district welfare office show that 23, 817 children availed themselves of post-matric scholarships for the SC/ST and OBCs — one of the seven schemes linked to Aadhaar — in 2011-12. But in 2012-13, after Aadhaar was made mandatory for students, this dropped by 35 per cent to 15,638. The sharpest reduction is in the number of beneficiaries from tribal families. In 2011-12, 16,058 ST students got scholarships, while the next year this fell to 8,985.