Eighty-eight percent of Karnataka’s National Social Assistance Program applicants do not have their Aadhar Cards linked to their bank accounts to get the social pension.
Bengaluru: The Indian rural ministry dashboard states that 88 percent of applicants under the National Social Assistance Program do not have their bank accounts linked with Aadhar cards in Karnataka. The program provides financial assistance to widows, elderly, disabled and poor in rural as well as urban areas.
In 2016, the Government of India made it mandatory to link Aadhar cards with bank accounts to avail of social pensions. However, the process is delayed as most of the applicants do not have a= mobile number verification or internet access.
Syed Hasna, an applicant shared her experience at a social assistance centre. She said, “We took our Aadhar card to link it with the bank account. We gave Rs.200/- rupees. We waited for 1 month but no one did it. We don’t get money.”
The Ministry Of Rural Development runs the National Social Assistance Program. The program is funded by the central government and executed by the state government. In Karnataka, the help is provided by the revenue department. However, they lack data for the program. P. S. Narayan, an officer from the social consultation desk at the Revenue Department, Government of Karnataka, said, “Right now, I don’t have perfect data. In the last 2-3 years Aadhar linking has been compulsory and it has been processed now.”
The state government regulates social assistance centres that help an applicant follow the Aadhar linking procedure. However, most social assistance centres found it difficult to get the required data, a confirmed mobile number and other data for the process.
Pushkar Ranjan, an inclusive development expert at Professional Assistance for Development Action, India commented, “Every village’s, slum’s or community’s needs are different. A better governance literacy can help. People should stand for themselves. Also, the social audit can cross-check the matter.” He also added that pre-mapping would help in the completion of such programs.