Not giving a child lunch (probably the only square meal he or she can eat for the day-the Midday meal), provided in school only because her parents or parent does not have an Aadhaar number is criminal to say the least. In a country where malnutrition is rampant, this Midday meal scheme with its balanced combination of food ingredients was introduced to serve two purposes- To induce the child to come to school and also to make sure that the child’s nutrition is taken care of.
The legal scholar Dr Usha Ramanthan said: “They are making it clearer and clearer that the Unique Identification project is not about inclusion or reaching one’s entitlements, but coercion and exclusion. Now that they have reached children, I hope people will realise what this project is about.”
The central government continues to violate a Supreme Court order of October 2015 specifying that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for any government scheme. It can only be used as voluntary identification for five specific government programmes: public distribution scheme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, National Social Assistance Programme, Jan Dhan Yojana and for LPG subsidies.
Is GDP the only indicator of growth? All of us know that Infant Mortality rate, Maternal Mortality rate and Under-five mortality rates are more sensitive indices of development and in these India is lagging far behind.
If the government thinks it is saving money by denying food, education and basic commodities to the majority-it needs to answer the future generation- that is our children. Can the Aadhaar scheme be made compulsory for children? Can our leaders say that they did right? More importantly are we going to be mute spectators to this injustice?