Can diabetes wear off fingerprints? Yes, claims the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The civic agency had implemented the biometric system of attendance last year to ensure regularity of its staff. Biometrics comprise methods for uniquely recognising humans based upon intrinsic physical or behavioral traits — fingerprints in the MCD’s case.
Since then, 22,853 employees were found to be drawing salaries but not reporting for duty. Of these, 6,000 employees, including sweepers and sanitation workers, claimed the system could not process their fingerprints because they are diabetic.
“There are around 6,000 employees who have been coming regularly to give their attendance but the system can’t register their presence. They are diabetic and their fingers have cracked up or wrinkled up. They are genuine employees,” said a senior MCD official requesting anonymity.
Rubbish, said doctors, claiming it is scientifically not possible.
“I’ve never seen this happening in my 25 years of practice in treating diabetic patients,” said Ambrish Mittal, chairman, Depart-ment of Endocrinology at Medanta - The Medicity.
Residents believed the explanation was simply to bunk work. “They just don’t want to come under the biometric system as they will have to report to work every day,” said VK Arora, a member of the Krishna Nagar residents’ welfare association.