100-yr-old finally gets life’s first ID proof, courtesy strangers - Hindustan Times
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100-yr-old finally gets life’s first ID proof, courtesy strangers

Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByAbdul Jadid, Gorakhpur
Jun 22, 2018 02:16 PM IST

Centenarian Noorjahan of Gorakhpur finally gets her Aadhaar card after she was helped by a local journalist and a child activist

The adage ‘better late than never’ has come true for centenarian Noorjahan, a poor widow living in a temporary shed outside her daughter’s house in Alinagar locality of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

100-year-old Noorjahan with Ranjeet Yadav and Mitra Prakash who helped her in getting Aadhaar card issued.(HT Photo)
100-year-old Noorjahan with Ranjeet Yadav and Mitra Prakash who helped her in getting Aadhaar card issued.(HT Photo)

On Thursday, the wrinkled face was wreathed in smiles as the woman finally got her Aadhaar card and came to know that soon she would be offered not only widow pension but monthly ration too from the fair price shop, benefits that were too sloth to reach her till now.

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This was made possible due to the efforts of two local youths, Ranjeet Yadav, a journalist and Mitra Prakash , a child activist, who befriended the widow and took her to an Aadhaar registration office to get her the 10 digit unique identification number so that her application for widow pension could be submitted. Sans a single ID or address proof, she had been unable to avail of it till now.

Ranjeet and Mitra Prakash spotted her a month ago, sitting silently near a pulia in Jublee area, while passerby offered her coins.

When asked, this great-grand mother of many children shared her ordeal and expressed her last wish which shook the duo emotionally. “She told us that she had been living in abject poverty and depended on alms. Due to poor financial condition, the last rites of her rickshaw puller husband Rajab Khan and two sons Khaliq and Sadiq, (both dying young of encephalitis) were performed with money collected through funding. She does not want the same thing to happen to her when she dies. Her ordeal shook us and we decided to ensure her some monetary help through widow pension. But the problem was that she did not have a single document. So we got her Aadhaar card made.”

Ranjeet recalled how the biometric machine used to scan finger prints failed to take her prints as they had faded due to old age. “Then we got a letter issued by the local corporator saying he knew her. Through this letter the Aadhaar was made without finger scanning,”

On Thursday, after getting her Aadhaar card, when the duo reached DM Vijyendra Pandian with an application to cover Noorjahan under widow pension scheme, the official went a step ahead and ordered both pension as well as ration card for her.

“ I have ordered both ration card and widow pension for the 100-year-old widow. We can also arrange her stay in an old people’s home if needed,” Pandian said.

When she got her Aadhaar card on Thursday night, an overjoyed Noorjahan ran out of her shed showing the card to neighbours, yelling,”You all were saying that it couldn’t be made, See it has been made.” The card mentions her date of birth as 1.1. 1918.

To express her gratitude to the youths, Noorjahan recited a couplet: “Burai kar bura hoga, bhalai kar bhala hoga , koi dekhe ya na dekhe Khuda to dekhta hoga .” (If you do bad, bad thing will happen to you . if you do good, good thing will happen to you. Doesn’t matter whether or not anyone sees it, for God must surely be watching.)

Noorjahan shared how she lived in hardships as two of her three sons died due to encephalitis. Her youngest son Qadir earns 200 daily. “With this he fails to meet even his own family’s expenses, so what will he do for me?” Noorjahan said.

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