As the government began its defense of Aadhaar in the Supreme Court on March 21, The Right to Food Campaign has slammed the Government’s denial on the limitations of Aadhar.
In a strongly worded letter, the Right to Food Campaign said, “It was dismayed that the government once again presented already debunked claims of the benefits of Aadhaar in welfare in the Supreme Court.
The strong criticism by the Campaign has come in the backdrop of a comment made by the Attorney General of India, which has left several people flabbergasted. While, defending the Centre’s position on imposition of Aadhar and defying concerns on it entailing to compromise with one’s privacy, the Attorney General KK Venugopal said that Aadhaar data remains secure behind a 13-ft high and five feet thick walls.
The Right to Food Campaign is an informal network of organizations and individuals working towards the implementation of the right to food in the country.
Citing a survey report on 900 households of Jharkhand, the Right to Food Campaign found that it found no difference in the ratio of Public Distribution System food grains purchased between villages that had their Aadhar linked and those that did not.
Countering the Centre’s argument on Aadhar being a significant tool in reducing corruption, the Right to Food Campaign has said that, “Integration of welfare with Aadhaar has in fact engendered many new forms of corruption. Middlemen charge a commission to help people enroll themselves with Aadhaar”
Contrary to what is being claimed by the Government that Aadhar has helped save Rs 57,000 crores annually, the Campaign has also questioned the claim and went on to say that, “On examining the breakdown of this figure, it is found that the government does not explain the exact cause of the savings or the method of calculating the levels of savings”.
The campaign body has urged the Supreme Court of India to end the compulsory requirement of Aadhaar for accessing social and economic rights, while terming the mandatory integration of welfare with Aadhaar as an attack on people’s right to life – interpreted to mean not just for mere survival, but for a life with dignity.