PM, Sonia launch Unique ID project

NANDURBAR (Maharashtra): Ten adivasis from the tribal hamlet of Tembhli on Wednesday became the first to receive the Unique Identity Numbers from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who said this would help the poor get the benefits of welfare projects.

Singh and Gandhi distributed the first ten ‘Adhaar’ cards of Unique Identification Authority of India to ten residents of the tribal hamlet at a function attended by Maharashtra governor K Shankaranarayanan, chief minister Ashok Chavan, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Alhuwalia and UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani.

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.

Singh also said the rolling out of the unique numbers displayed a symbol of a new and modern India. "We are moving fast in the field of technology. Nowhere in the world, technology has been used in such a big way. I hope every citizen will get this number very soon," he said.

Gandhi also echoed similar views saying the unique identification numbers will help plug the loopholes in the Public Distribution System (PDS). "The problem of fake ration cards will be over now," she said.(PTI)

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