Lack of Aadhaar bars registration of 450 street children on govt portal
Civic and aided schools in Mumbai are facing difficulties in registering over 450 children on the UDISE+ portal due to the lack of Aadhaar numbers. These children, who were admitted to schools during a special drive, are unable to access government benefits and other essential facilities. NGOs are also struggling to enroll children without Aadhaar and relevant documents. The education department is working to resolve the issue by providing necessary assistance and collecting details for Aadhaar registration.
Mumbai: Civic and aided schools in the city are unable to register more than 450 children on the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) portal as they do not have Aadhaar numbers. The children are among 1280 out-of-school students, predominantly urchins, who were admitted to civic schools during a special drive conducted by the school education department in July and August this year.
Six-year-old Rahul (name changed), one of the affected students, lives on the street at Reay Road, and does not have a birth certificate or any proof of residence using which he can enroll for Aadhaar or be registered on the UDISE+ portal. Thus, despite attending a Byculla-based aided school diligently for the past four months, he is unable to access government benefits.
Thirty-five other students from his school are grappling with the same problem. Many of them do not have birth certificates and/or Aadhaar, which poses significant obstacles as the state government mandates schools to provide Aadhaar-based information on the UDISE+ portal. The government approves teacher appointments and other essential facilities in schools based on information available on the portal.
“The education department assumes an Aadhaar-based student population for approving school boards. But, with parents lacking necessary documents, obtaining an Aadhaar becomes a challenge,” said a teacher from a Govandi-based school. “We hope the education department addresses this concern promptly to ensure uninterrupted education for these students.”
Lack of Aadhaar and other relevant documents is also hindering the efforts of non-governmental organisations to enroll children in schools. For instance, Bombay Teen Challenge has been unable to admit 24 street children to a Byculla-based school as they do not have birth certificates and relevant documents.
KK Devraj, director, Bombay Teen Challenge said they were working with the government to resolve the issue. “We are committed to breaking the cycle of begging by providing education to children of a specific community. Presently, we are facing Aadhaar registration challenges, but we are resolving the issue with government assistance,” he stated.
Officials in the education department said efforts were being made to address the issue. “If out-of-school children lack Aadhaar cards, the education inspector will provide necessary assistance to schools. Details required for Aadhaar card will be collected, and information will be filled on the portal to ensure these children can continue their education without hindrance,” said an official.