The Telegraph
Sunday , December 16 , 2012
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See how Aadhaar benefits women

Ranchi, Dec. 15: A study supported by a German non-government organisation has found that Aadhaar numbers/cards issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India is playing a big role in empowering Jharkhandi women.

The results of the study that were presented at a workshop, organised today by Heinrich Boell Foundation at a city-based hotel, found that the Aadhaar cards had helped the women forge their own identity, besides fighting social taboos.

Presenting the findings, Govind Kelkar, who helped in conducting the study along with Dev Nathan, Swati Sain Gupta and Sanjay Bosu, said the Aadhaar cards had helped women move towards self-dependency.

“Taboos like women not being allowed to touch ploughs or go to the rooftop of a house has largely been done away with after the introduction of the Aadhaar cards. It has given women an identity that they can assert,” Kelkar said.

She added that women with Aadhaar cards had become more dependant in matters related to taking benefits of government service as well. “They are now not judged for what they are and not their family background,” Kelkar said.

The study, she went on to say, was based on the group’s month-long interactions with over 430 people from seven villages in three districts — Ranchi, Ramgarh and Seraikela-Kharsawan — three of which have been selected by the Centre for the launch of its ambitious Direct Cash Subsidy Transfer Scheme.

Axel Harneit-Sievers, a representative of the foundation who attended the conference, said the purpose of the study was to assess benefits of Aadhaar cards in women empowerment — a cause for which the NGO has been working for the last 25-years.

Later, speaking to The Telegraph, Seraikela-Kharsawan’s Sohan Lal Kumhar, who attended the conference, said the people in the state were excited. “They want to know if it (Aadhaar cards) can be used for day-to-day purposes also. It has definitely given women a separate identity,” he said.

Echoing Kumhar, Parmita Oraon of Mandar said the Aadhaar cards had helped women fight various social evils and personal demons. “For example, it has helped many women to force their husband to quit drinking,” she said.

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