New Delhi: Aadhaar card enabled cash transfers, or Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) scheme, which was launched on January 1, 2013, was UPA-led government's supposed game changer. However, the scheme is yet to take off properly.
For example, most of the beneficiaries of the Janani Suraksha Yojana, a conditional cash transfer scheme to incentivise women to give birth in a health facility, are unaware of their entitlement as beneficiaries. Manisha, one of the beneficiaries of the Yojana, is entitled to Rs 600 but is unaware of her entitlement. Identified as a beneficiary during a checkup at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Manisha was sent to enrol herself for an Aadhaar card. Asked how the card would help her, she replied, "We will get money. We will have proof of identity in Delhi. But I don't have a bank account and my husband does not have one either."
With the government's decision that all payments to the beneficiaries, who do not have either bank accounts or their unique identity cards, will be be made through the Aadhaar bridge, the administration is on an overdrive to enrol people via enrolment centers. However, even after the patients get their enrolment numbers, it will be at least a month before they get their Aadhaar cards. Earlier, at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the payment was made through a bearers' cheque.
The story is slightly different at the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana under which the government gives Rs 4000 to pregnant and lactating women. Out of close to 4000 beneficiaries, only about 2500 have either an Aadhaar card or enrollment number. 'I don't know anything about UID," said Mamata, resident of Mangolpuri, who has already received Rs 1500 via Aadhaar card but is yet to understand the system.
It seems like the DCT scheme has been rolled out in a hurry with the teams at the grassroot level having a herculean task before themselves to enrol beneficiaries, open bank accounts and integrate them with Aadhaar. "It was not possible for all the schemes to roll out within 10 to 14 days. If the payment is released only through the Aadhaar bridge mode that will be difficult. I think the government has now realised that," said Shurvir Singh, Divisional Commissioner of North West Delhi.