11-year-old dies of starvation due to technical glitch


11-year-old dies of starvation due to technical glitch

Dubai - Failure to link ration card with Aadhaar resulted in this girl's family being struck off the government welfare rolls.

By Web Report

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Published: Tue 17 Oct 2017, 12:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Oct 2017, 4:36 PM

This is a story of how a lifeline can turn fatal, thanks to a technical glitch.

An 11-year-old Indian girl starved to death as her family was struck off the government welfare rolls for not being able to link their ration card with Aadhaar, because of a technical snag.

Aadhaar is a 12-digit biometric identity number issued by the Indian government to every resident of India, now considered as a lifeline by many.

Santoshi Kumari, a resident of Jharkhand's Simdega district, starved for four days before breathing her last, her mother Koili Devi claimed. Since February, the family had not received any ration, surviving on doles from villagers and the mid-day meal Santoshi would get at her school, a Hindustan Times report revealed.

When the stocks finished and the school got closed, Santoshi was deprived of food. She had severe stomachaches and cramps on September 27 and passed away within 24 hours.

"The family was not receiving ration due to the government's mandate for Aadhaar seeding," Dheeraj Kumar, one of the five activists involved in the investigation, was quoted as saying in the report. The family had Aadhaar cards but the seeding failed because of technical glitches, the activists added.

While admitting to the system failure, Jaldega block development officer Sanjay Kumar Kongari said it was malaria that took toll on Santoshi.

Santoshi's father didn't have a regular income. So, her other family members did odd jobs to make ends meet.

Even though the state government has pushed for Aadhaar seeding for all welfare schemes to stamp out fakes and duplicates from welfare rolls, activists have pointed to implementation snags with the seeding process mostly in remote areas with weak internet connectivity, the report says.

A team of food commission experts has probed Santoshi's case and will file its report soon.

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