Aadhaar enrolment of children yet to gather pace

Camps to enrol children aged below five years in anganwadis for Aadhaar has failed to gather momentum in Ernakulam owing to a variety of reasons.

So far, just 25,000 of the 2.5 lakh of the targeted group have been covered in the camps.

From parents’ lack of interest to blame game between Akshaya entrepreneurs and Social Justice Department officials and the apathy of a section of anganwadi workers towards enrolment, the reasons are plenty.

Children are spared of biometrics such as thumb impressions and iris scan but can be enrolled based on a photograph, proof of date of birth and Aadhaar card or enrolment slip of parents. Their biometrics need to be incorporated into the card before they attain 15 years.

“Parents are often not serious about enrolment of their children. At least, parents of children aged between three and five years would enrol their kids now with Aadhaar card being mandatory for school admission,” sources told The Hindu .

Then there is the lack of meeting ground between Akshaya entrepreneurs and the Child Development Services (ICDS) supervisors and Child Development Project Officers (CDPO) on various aspects from location of camps to the number of enrolments at a time.

Since the biometric device bought by Akshaya entrepreneurs are costly and need power and internet connectivity, they cannot be expected to set up the equipment just anywhere whereas the Social Justice Department officials want camps to be held at the anganwadis or places of their choice.

Besides, Akshaya entrepreneurs have to employ a biometric operator and a supervisor approved by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for enrolment of children. The supervisor has to put his or her thumb impression as counter verification of the child being enrolled.This means that there should be an adequate number of enrolments making the exercise feasible for entrepreneurs. But often the turnout for enrolment is either too many or too few.