As states suffer rising COVID-19 cases, the public distribution system is a lifeline for many who will be rendered food insecure. Aadhaar linkage increases the risk of transmission, and is a massive source of exclusion. This needs to go! A short thread:
1. Exclusion: In Kenjala village, Kombaru GP, Kadaba taluk: In the middle of a lockdown, people who made it to the PDS shop could not get rice - no mobile network. "staff had to move to the nearest hillock, searching for a proper.. network".…
This is the tip of the iceberg. Reminder that a 2019 Lokniti-CSDS survey found between 28% to 40% persons (in the Hindi belt) had been denied foodgrains because of Aadhaar-related failures.…
2. Despite concerns, the Govt. continues to push the Aadhaar-reliant "One Nation One Ration" scheme.As Reetika Khera says, this may be technologically possible, but is it implementable?…
Eg: In Dakshina Kannada District: Fair price shops don't have sufficient rice/ wheat for migrant ration card holders. So migrant workers who take off from work and lose their daily wage to try to get rations, are sent empty-handed.…
In Maharashtra, migrants who had returned to their villages during the first lockdown, found that their ration cards had been suspended.…
This is why @rozi_roti @OrissaRtf @roadscholarz and others recommend universalising PDS, community kitchens instead. This piece from last year is still relevant:…
3. Particularly now, biometric authentication increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. In Bihar, PDS dealers claim biometric system spreading Covid, threaten to strike.…
In Gujarat, Public Distribution Shop owners are asking for permission to halt biometric authentication as it increases the risk of transmission.
4. And no, this is not a reason to test out "contactless tech".…

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More from @no2uid

30 Apr
Link to sign a statement demanding that government ensures equitable access to vaccines and medical resources to survive the pandemic… statement is attached ImageImageImageImage
-Increase access to vaccinations
-Ensure no barriers, including mandating Aadhaar, for access to diagnostics, hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, medication or other treatments
-Protect peoples’ rights over their data
-Permit vaccination for all without ID/residence proof Image
This is a difficult time for all of us. As we write we have relatives & friends searching for hospitals, medicines & oxygen, isolating at home, and more being infected with the COVID-19 virus daily. Many of us are caring for those who are ill or need other support.
Read 6 tweets
26 Sep 20
Today, two years ago, on September 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of India passed the landmark judgement that decided the fate of the #Aadhaar project in India. 
The focus of the judgement was on the constitutionality of the provisions of the #Aadhaar Act.
The Court’s failure to find the #Aadhaar project unconstitutional was widely criticised for not addressing the problems of social exclusion and destruction fundamental rights.
Read 15 tweets
26 Aug 20
1/n Rethink Aadhaar & Article 21 Trust anchored a session on Surveillance & Technology at the Janta Parliament on 18 August 2020. More than 100 people attended & voted. Thread - Highlights from the session illustrated by @kruttikasusarla…
2/n @PaliSamuel presided over the session and highlighted “mass ostracization and harassment” faced by those who had their personal information on health status, travel history released in the public domain. Key guiding question: where is “trust” between people & the Govt. Image
3/n Keynote address by Usha Ramanathan - similarities between the exploitation of natural resources & collection of data. Must be more transparency on the relationship between state & corporate entities on data extractive practices with minimum regulatory oversight Image
Read 18 tweets
18 Aug 20
#JantaParliament thread with live tweets. @PaliSamuel introduces the 6th session on technology and surveillance - there is a need to ask who are excluded from their constitutional rights by technological solutions/interventions?
The people of Jammu&Kashmir have been denied internet access, migrant labourers asked to book trains online, rights bearing citizens reduced to data subjects #JantaParliament
Constitutional rights that form the architecture of governance must be present at the stage of design of technology (before even implemented or conceptualised) #JantaParliament
Read 32 tweets
17 Aug 20
Join us tmrw at #JantaParliament for a session on Technology, Exclusion & Surveillance from 3pm to 6pm. Hear 20 speakers critically appraise govt policy on technology, exclusion & surveillance. Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Visvam will attend, Usha Ramanathan will give the keynote address Image
You can register at this link to participate #JantaParliament
Read 6 tweets
1 Mar 20
We are getting set for Day 2 of the #AadhaarTribunal. Today we look at #AadhaarAndBeyond. Join us for another day of engaging conversations! Image
Here's a snapshot of what happened yesterday. Thank you @TheStatesmanLtd Image
And we've begun Day 2 of the #AadhaarTribunal with the session on gender rights. @SwetaDash93 speaks on the need to look at gender as a separate category and how, despite Nilekani's assertions, #Aadhaar-related issues have not been solved. Image
Read 39 tweets

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