Aadhar takes off: PM, Sonia launch UID in tribal village

Five women and three children were among the ten tribals who received the Unique Identification Number in Tembhli village in Nandurbar, Maharashtra a little after noon on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi distributed the first 10 Aadhar cards of the Unique Identification Authority at a function, officially launching the UPA's most ambitious project so far Aadhar, which will give a unique identity to all Indians. This 12-digit number will be a link to all demographic details, bank accounts etc and will help people in accessing government programmes, while at the same time addressing tricky issues such as rigging in elections and the embezzlement of government funds meant for the people.

The function was attended by Maharashtra Governor K Shankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Alhuwalia and UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani.

Four-year-old Hitesh Sonaware became the youngest member to receive the UID card from the Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi also handed the card to Hitesh's mother Ranjana, eight-year-old Anil Thakre, Chalubhai Thakre, Shiva Rattan Wagh, Kantibai Nigure, Bhuri Mai, 14, Devidas Mai, Tarachand and Arman Qureshi in Tembhli.

Addressing the function, the Prime Minister said the issuing of unique identity cards is a beginning of a big effort for the welfare of the common man.

"The poor did not have any identity proof. Due to this shortcoming, they could not open bank accounts or get ration cards. They could not avail the benefits of government welfare programmes because of this and many times, these benefits were pocketed by others," Singh said.

He said those who are economically and socially backward will be the biggest beneficiaries of this programme.

"We will give every opportunity to live a dignified life to our poor, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes people," he said.

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