I. Mallikarjuna Sharma
This is in the context of the article ‘Aadhaar’ Promotes US Interests-II' but actually may not have much to do with it except as a strange case of biometrics.
The KCR government in Telangana has introduced a ridiculous system of biometrics (hope I am not wrong in using this term for the description of this development) in disbursing ration shop goods. Now anybody carrying a ration card cannot be entitled with the mere presentation of the ration card but they have a machine in which his or her fingerprints are invariably tested each time. Only if the finger prints match he or she is given the 5 kilos or 25 kilos (maximum for 5 member family) rice at Rs 1 per kilo. That is if fingerprints match he or she can pay Rs. 25/- and take 25 kilos of rice, and of course any other goods available and the person willing to purchase per rate and quota set. It so happens that often this machine fails and people have to wait for hours or come again on some other day. Is all this tamasha necessary for disbursing the basic necessity goods? I don't think even a bank insists on fingerprints for deposits and disbursal. Is it necessary to subject uneducated or barely literate persons, dependent on their daily labor to eke out a living, to all this trouble and travails? Where, in the name of computerization and technological advancement are we heading to? All relics of human relations are being thrown off and people are basically seen with suspicion and reluctance and more confidence being placed in all sorts of idiot boxes. Further it is being openly admitted by the concerned authorities themselves that often such machines fail to read the finger prints of old people and as such senior citizens are always at the risk of losing their ration entitlements. Is such system rampant in other States also?
I. Mallikarjuna Sharma, Advocate, Editor, LAW ANIMATED WORLD.
May 7, 2016
Vol. 48, No. 43, May 1 - 7, 2016