Tribal kids with no Aadhaar denied admission in Madhya Pradesh

Panna: In a glaring example of what seems to be a major issue statewide, About 50 tribal children of Hinota Gram Panchayat in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh are being deprived of education just because they do not have Aadhaar Card.

Even 4 months after Supreme Court’s order clearly stating that Aadhaar Card is not mandatory to get benefits of public or private services, these tribal families are being refused enrolment of their children because they don’t have the unique ID.

Teachers and others working in education sector say that the problem of denying enrolment without Aadhaar is rampant across state, with many kids remaining deprived of the basic right.

In case of Hinota, situated 25 kms from Panna district headquarters, over 70% population are labourers and most of them belong to Gond tribe. Parents of most of the children work at diamond mines, coal mines or construction sites which compels them to stay away from their children for an entire day. Thus, getting an Aadhaar Card for these children is a challenging affair.

Labourer, migrant parents find it difficult to get the unique ID number processed for their wards; teachers in dilemma

NOT MANDATORY, YET ASKED FOR

  • “Though, Aadhaar Card is not mandatory but without entering the number and Samagra ID, the portal of school education department does not accept enrolment. Without completing the online enrolment process we would be unable to provide benefits of government schemes to these children”, said one of the teachers of Government Primary School of Hinota village on the condition of anonymity.
  • The problem has been persisting for last 2 years but no solution has been found as villagers migrate in search of work which deprives their children from getting an Aadhaar Card, the teacher said.

Aadhaar trouble for common people

  • In getting pension
  • In getting ration
  • For buying sim cards
  • In opening of bank account

DENIED admission TWICE

  1. There are cases in the village where kids were denied admission last year, as well as. this year. Some parents who could manage to get Aadhaar Cards of their children got them enrolled in Class 1 when they were 10-12-years-old.
  2. ’Some parents come with all the 3 children at once to get them enrolled in Class 1 as they could not get the cards earlier,’ said another teacher of the school.

Minister assures of solution

 I am aware with the fact that Aadhaar card is an issue in enrolment of children but we have clearly instructed that no child should be deprived of education due to Aadhaar. We will find out a solution for this issue and will also look into the case of Hinota Gram Panchayat.

-Deepak Joshi, minister of state, school education, MP

 This is extremely alarming that tribal families are struggling to get their children educated. The issue troubles many underprivileged families across state, but the Panna case is one big example of the deprivation.

-Yousuf Baig, local activist, Panna

No doubt migration deprives several children from getting school education but we ensure that despite unavailability of Aadhaar card no child is left from getting enrolled in school. It is true the system requires Aadhaar for enrolment but we ensure admission even without it.

-Vishnu Tripathi, district convenor- SSA, Panna

The Apex Court directive

  • On March 27, 2018, the SC observed that Aadhaar card cannot stand in the way of citizens accessing the benefits of social welfare schemes of the government.
  • However, it remarked that the government can press for Aadhaar card for income-tax filings.