#India Aadhaar card: Many worried about #privacy #UID

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, TNN | Apr 15, 2013, 03.53 AM IST


MUMBAI: Unmindful of the chief minister himself telling the legislature that it is the Centre’s directive that unless a district has 80% registration, providing subsidies through Aadhaar cannot be undertaken, citizens are being coerced into getting a UID number.

“When we informed the school principal that Parliament is yet to pass the Bill, she categorically told us that there was no harm in obtaining the card. The deadline is July-end,” said Maya Nair (name changed). Nair’s child studies in an ICSE school in the suburbs. J S Saharia, additional chief secretary in charge of school education, said while no child will be denied admission for not having an Aadhaar card, the department has informed all government and aided schools that teacher’s salaries will not be paid if every child does not have an Aadhaar card by May-end. “Since we are providing funds we want to know exactly how many children are there in school,” he said.

Sources in the oil marketing companies said they are being compelled by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to fast-track the implementation of Aadhaar. “We have sought clarification from the ministry as we have received objections from consumers,” said sources.

Several Mumbaikars are miffed with the government forcing them to get an Aadhaar card. “I have serious objections to the Aadhaar card as I believe it will infringe on my privacy, providing access to every piece of information about me. Since I do not want government subsidies why should I be coerced into getting an Aadhaar card? It is akin to creating a police state,” said Snehal Shah, a stock investor.

Janhit Manch, which has complained to the Centre on the forceful implementation of Aadhaar, said the Unique Identification Authority of IndiaUIDAI), with its vast implications, is not controlled by any legislation. “There is no statute to control how this information can be used or by whom and under what conditions. There is no law, and no parliamentary or judicial supervision. What is the remedy to a citizen who finds his info has been misused? The scheme, though said to be ‘voluntary’, is becoming compulsory due to such directives,” said Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch.

Times View: Stop this harassment

It’s unfortunate-and perhaps also inevitable-that a government scheme aimed at giving recognition to the citizen and streamlining administration has ended up in adding to the citizen’s harassment. The government should crack the whip on recalcitrant service providers, who have made having this card a prerequisite despite knowing that only an insignificant percentage of the population has got this card. It should also stop giving confusing and self-contradictory directives before ensuring every citizen has got an Aadhaar card.




#Mumbai- The polio-afflicted, mentally disabled boy no-one wants #mentalhealth #WTFnews

Yogesh.Sadhwani @timesgroup.com

Mumbai Mirror, March 8, 2013
A16-year-old mentally and physically disabled boy has been unable to find a home for the past three days, a month after he was found near Mumbai Central station by volunteers from the NGO Childline.
The severely malnourished, polio-afflicted, mentally disabled, deaf-and-mute boy had been abandoned by his family, the social workers who found him believe. He was admitted to Nair Hospital on February 3, and spent a month recuperating there.
Since March 4, social workers have taken him to five different homes, but have been turned away from each one. All five homes shielded themselves with their own interpretations of a Bombay High Court order that states that mentally disabled children should be kept in special homes. At the time of going to press, he was returning to Childline’s call centre at Nair Hospital, where he would spend another day.
After he was treated at Nair for a month, the hospital discharged him and asked Childline – which works with children and coordinates with various homes – to have him sent to a welfare home. On March 4, he was taken to Child Welfare Committee, a quasi-judicial authority that is supposed to look after children in need. Ideally, CWC is supposed to issue an order and find the child a place in one of the city’s many welfare homes. However, the boy, whose name is unknown, was turned down by CWC.
Usually, children found in such circumstances are first first to the Dongri children’s home and then to a home for children with special needs. CWC, however, refused to get him admitted to the Dongri home and told Childline to take him to a home for mentally disabled children instead. The reason CWC cited for this was their interpretation of a high court order, which states that mentally disabled children need to be put in special homes, and that such homes had been transferred from the state’s Women and Child Welfare Department to the Social Justice Department. Officials at CWC simply handed over a copy of the government resolution ordering the transfer, and asked the volunteers and the boy to leave.
Their next stop was at state-run home for the mentally disabled at Mankhurd. Here, too, the superintendent refused to take the child, again quoting the high court order. His interpretation of the order was that the home should not be overcrowded, and since it already over capacity, he could not take on one more child.
The boy was then brought back to Nair Hospital, where he was admitted for two days after Childline volunteers pleaded with hospital authorities. Two days later, Childline volunteers took him to Nagapad police station. Here, too, authorities refused to help. After spending five hours at the police station, where the child was pushed around by cops for ‘misbehaving’, he was taken back to Childline’s 10-ft x 10-ft call centre.
OnThursday,hewastakentoMissionaries of Charity, a home for mentally disabled children in Gorai. Here, hewasturneddownforwantofspace.
Mumbai Mirror contacted Dr Shaila Mhatre, chairperson of CWC, who said: “There is a high court order that such children should be kept in special homes. The court does not want them in ordinary homes, so we could not keep him at Umerkhadi (Dongri). Moreover, most homes for the mentally disable are full.” She added that most special homes refuse to take such children even if CWC orders them to do so. “We at CWC have now become strict about taking such children in homes for ordinary children. What do you expect CWC to do in such a case?”
Anil Gite, superintendent of the Mankhurd home, said, “I have been given orders that our home should notbeovercrowded.RightnowIhave twice the number of children than I ideally should.”
RD Shinde, secretary of the social justice department, was appalled on hearing about the case. “How does it matter which state department runs the home? The CWC and home superintendent should have admited the child immediately. I will see to it that such things are not repeated.”
Dr Harish Shetty, a member of a high-court-appointed committee for the welfare of mentally diabled children, said that the court’s order is being misunderstood. “The order does not say that CWC should reject kids or homes should turn them away just because they are overcrowded. The state has failed miserably in taking care of mentally disabled children. They are India’s unwanted children,” he said.
“The challenged 17-year-old, who is nobody’s child and whom no one wants to take care of, is representative of the situation of challenged, especially mentally challenged, children in India,” said Childline spokesperson Nishit Kumar.
“Childline is increasingly asked by young Indians to rescue/assist the extremely marginalised. However Childline is an emergency response service currently servicing over 4 million calls a year — we do not run shelters and after providing SOS attention, we link children to institutions that can rehabilitate them,” he said.



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