Leprosy patients can be enrolled as ‘special cases’ for aadhaar card
There are about 800 leprosy patients in the city of which many are old and await rehabilitationmumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 00:17 IST
After a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) highlighted the problems faced leprosy patients in getting their biometric scans for Aadhaar card, sources from the government said these patients can be enroled as ‘special cases’.
Dr Vivek Pai, director of Bombay Leprosy Project (BLP), an organisation that has been treating leprosy patients for the past four decades, said he knows at least two patients with deformities in their hands whose Aadhaar card applications was rejected.
“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sought details of leprosy patients and banking facilities availed by them. We were asked to visit an ICICI branch, where IRIS scans were undertaken to verify details of the patients,” he added.
Pai said there are about 800 leprosy patients in the city of which many are old and await rehabilitation. “For some of them, the only source of income is the money they get under the welfare schemes,” he said.
Babananand Rao Kadu, 83, who lives in Chunabhatti, has not received his pension for the past one year. Kadu was diagnosed with leprosy more than 70 years ago. He said his Aadhaar application was rejected owing to deformities in his fingers, which prevented registration of his fingerprints.
“Someone checked the status of online and told me it was rejected and I will have to reapply. I’m yet to do it. It takes too much time to visit an aadhaar centre at this age. I work as a peon at a the BLP and the money I make from its is keeping me alive,” he added.
An official from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) headquarters said, “Considering their [leprosy] special circumstances, such patients are given full biometric exemption in accordance with the UIDAI regulations and are enrolled without finger prints and IRIS scan. They only have to submit proof of identity (PoI ) and proof of address (PoA).”
Official cited the example of a 65-year-old Bengaluru woman, who lost her hands and vision to leprosy, but was enrolled for aadhaar card as a special case to ensure she is benefitted under the government’s social welfare scheme.
Authorities from state health department said most of these patients, who claim to have trouble getting their aadhaar verification done could be really old cases. Dr Raju Zotkar, additional director health services, said leprosy patients with disability of more than 40% are entitled to get a pension of Rs1,000 every month.