Three youngsters, who got separated from their families years back, were reunited with their parents when offi cials tried to register them for Aadhaar
Nobody had probably seen this coming but Aadhaar has reunited three mentally challenged boys with their parents — because their biometrics had been registered before they went missing, years ago.
Ten-year-old Anju from Raichur (North Karnataka), 12-year-old Srinivas from Chittoor and 16-year-old Mahadeva from Kurnool (both in Andhra Pradesh) have been reunited with their families, thanks to the premise that Aadhaar has been built on — that duplicate identities of the same person cannot be created.
The saga began to unfold at the Bengaluru-based Children’s Home for Mentally Challenged, officials and volunteers of which had rescued these three boys from various parts of the state.
It was when the state-run home sought to register the children for Aadhaar that the officials found that the biometrics of all the other children were getting registered, those of these three children were not – a sure-fire sign that their scans had been taken and registered earlier.
Once the biometric scans are taken and registered against respective UIDNs, the system does not accept them the second time.
This was enough for the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) officials to check on past computer data to find out against which UIDN these biometrics of the three children were registered and their respective permanent addresses.
Teams were then sent to crosscheck with the residents at these addresses in Raichur, Chittoor and Kurnool. And all the three hit the bull’s eye.
The officials returned with the parents to witness such an emotional reunion between the lost children and their respective parents that there was hardly a dry eye left among those witnessing the event back at the home.
The officials at the Children’s Home for Mentally Challenged said they wanted this to happen. “They all looked so happy and they happily took their kids back even after they are all mentally challenged. All three were sent back in the month of January-February after completing the formalities. It happened because of the Aadhaar officials. They came a saviours for these lost, innocent children,” Nagarathnamma, superintendent, Children Home for Mentally Challenged, said.
Interestingly, the home officials are hopeful again about reuniting a fourth child with his family members because his Aadhaar biometric details too have got rejected. They hope that his parents too have registered him with Aadhaar earlier so they can find their original address the same way as they did for the other three.
Aadhaar officials at Bengaluru’s regional UIDAI office in Khanija Bhavan, when contacted by Bangalore Mirror, said modestly that it was just their duty which they did. “It is a good project started by senior officials. When the Aadhaar details were rejected, we managed to get the old details and that led to these kids being reunited with their parents. I feel it may be the first time wherein mentally challenged kids have been reunited with their parents as the parents had enrolled their children’s names earlier with Aadhaar. We appeal to all the people to enrol with Aadhaar, which has now proved how helpful it is,” a senior UIDAI official said.