Need some aadhaar

Aadhaar – support

I had been to the Aadhar enrollment center in Vasai today morning and was not pleased with the experience there. For a population of 174396 (indicative population of 8 lacs in the Vasai-Virar region) (Census 2011) Class I town the infrastructure that’s been provided is pretty basic and insufficient. The programme was launched in the Vasai-Virar on the 18th of January 2011 has managed to get only 10% of the population registered (as on 10th July). There are currently 8 stations for the enrollment right now. As per the earlier report, the total number of stations required to complete the process by March ’12 is 23 stations. Clearly they are insufficient for the population of the region.

When the programme was launched, the VVMC planed to create awareness through cable channels and by distributing pamphlets to residential buildings also banners were to be put up giving details of the project. Though the awareness has been created to some extent, the infrastructure required to carry out this exercise is falling short. Vasai has just the two machines at the two centers designated for the purpose – one at the Thesildar’s office in Vasai and one at the Mahanagarpalika office at Diwanmaan. I was at the Diwanmaan office today and this is what was told to me.

  • The tokens for enrollment were issued yesterday (15th July)
  • Close to 12,000 tokens were issued and enrollment of those will begin next month
  • The next round of tokens will be issued in March 2012
  • It takes about 20-25 minutes for the enrollment process
  • The center does only 30-40 enrollments per day.
  • The enrollment need not be done at the closest center, you can do it anywhere in the state.

How to solve this problem, Simple, speak to the corporator in your area and ask them to raise the issue in the council when it convenes next. Hopefully, this will help get more stations in the region and the exercise will be complete at the earliest.

What

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique number which the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will issue for all residents. The number will be stored in a centralised database and linked to the basic demographics and biometric information – photograph, ten fingerprints and iris – of each individual.

Why

Aadhaar-based identification will have these features:

  • Universality, which is ensured because Aadhaar will over time be recognised and accepted across the country and across all service providers.
  • Every resident’s entitlement to the number.
  • The number will consequently form the basic, universal identity infrastructure over which Registrars and Agencies across the country can build their identity-based applications.
  • Unique Identification of India (UIDAI) will build partnerships with various Registrars across the country to enrol residents for the number. Such Registrars may include state governments, state Public Sector Units (PSUs), banks, telecom companies, etc. These Registrars may in turn partner with enrolling agencies to enrol residents into Aadhaar.
  • Aadhaar will ensure increased trust between public and private agencies and residents. Once residents enrol for Aadhaar, service providers will no longer face the problem of performing repeated Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before providing services. They would no longer have to deny services to residents without identification documents. Residents would also be spared the trouble of repeatedly proving identity through documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, or driving license etc.
  • By providing a clear proof of identity, Aadhaar will empower poor and underprivileged residents in accessing services such as the formal banking system and give them the opportunity to easily avail various other services provided by the Government and the private sector. The centralised technology infrastructure of the UIDAI will enable ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication. Aadhaar will thus give migrants mobility of identity. Aadhaar authentication can be done both offline and online, online authentication through a cell phone or land line connection will allow residents to verify their identity remotely. Remotely, online Aadhaar-linked identity verification will give poor and rural residents the same flexibility that urban non-poor residents presently have in verifying their identity and accessing services such as banking and retail. Aadhaar will also demand proper verification prior to enrolment, while ensuring inclusion. Existing identity databases in India are fraught with problems of fraud and duplicate or ghost beneficiaries. To prevent these problems from seeping into the Aadhaar database, the UIDAI plans to enrol residents into its database with proper verification of their demographic and biometric information. This will ensure that the data collected is clean from the beginning of the program. However, much of the poor and under-privileged population lack identity documents and Aadhaar may be the first form of identification they will have access to. The UIDAI will ensure that its Know Your Resident (KYR) standards do not become a barrier for enrolling the poor and has accordingly developed an Introducer system for residents who lack documentation. Through this system, authorised individuals (‘Introducers’) who already have an Aadhaar, can introduce residents who don’t have any identification documents, enabling them to receive their Aadhaar.

How

The process to get an Aadhaar is pretty simple residents need to go to the nearest Enrolment Camp to register for an Aadhaar. The resident primarily needs to carry an ID proof and a residence proof – Original : Ration Card , Pan Card or Passport or Driving licence or Any government ID.

Upon registering for Aadhaar, residents will go through a biometric scanning of ten fingerprints and iris. They will then be photographed and given an enrolment number upon completion. Depending on the enrolment agency, residents will be issued an Aadhaar number within 60 to 90 days.

Indebted

There are some people in your life that you feel were the ones who were necessary to make your life complete. To make your life the way it is right now. To make your life a lot much better than what it was earlier.

Br. Keane
Br. Keane

One such person has been there for me in my life. Br. Keane, he was my principal when I first met him. An ever smiling face, that heavy ‘chest fallen down’ stomach, those loving eyes hovering around above the spectacles.

He used to sit just next to the stair case when we used to come in to school every day, wishing everyone and poking fun at us. Many of the learning’s that the formal education of school did not impart came from him, at least for me. No mugging of answers was his tip, he encouraged us to write the answers in our own words rather than copy pasting the words in the text books. This, he said makes you understand the subject. Perhaps, this is why when I help my cousin with her school work, I am able to provide a better understanding to her. I am able to remember and recollect what I learned in my school by just reading a few lines and then able to provide a better understanding to my cousin. One way of learning that he imparted was to read what we wrote. He said that it helped in three ways – you read, you write and you hear. This makes the brain to better understand.

He was also the one who inculcated the habit of reading in me. He encouraged us to read as much as possible. Novels, news papers, encyclopedias, magazines…

He was away during our last years of school, imparting the same life learning’s to someone else in another part of India. He told us tales of how he was stuck in a train in West Bengal for over 24 hours at a single spot due to a derailment on the track and how he helped build schools and homes for people who were less fortunate.

I kept in touch with him with regular letters, he used to write to me even though he had a busy schedule and used to complain that I did not write enough. Whenever he was in Vasai, he used to come home and sit on the swing and then we used to talk for hours. Then there was this phase when I did not receive a single reply to my letters.

Br Keane ... Irish charm
Br Keane ... Irish charm

I was in Dublin when I got the news of his heart attack from Br. Pinto and I was desperately trying to reach him. I called in a few times only to get a message that he was resting. Finally luck smiled on me and I got to talk to him, I cried that day while talking to him, the words were unable to come out of my mouth but he never sounded so calm before. We talked a good 10-15 minutes that day. I wanted to go to either Goa or Bangalore where he was after I was back from Dublin but then I never got to make those trips due to the time factor. We met though, in December, he was in Vasai to attend the final professions of two brothers. We exchanged email addresses and we continued our correspondences via email. One of email in 2008, he mentioned that he faced some difficulties with his eyes as he had cataract in both his eyes and he asked me to remember him in my prayers. I wrote a very emotional mail to him which sadly was not replied

Br. Keane
Br. Keane

Then I heard something that literally shook the ground beneath my feet. Br. Keane was not keeping well and he was moved to Ireland and then I got this mail:

Dear Malcolm,

Br. Keane passed away on the 16th February at 9.30 PM IST at Beaumont
Hospital Baldoyle, Ireland. He was 77 years old. He had a massive heart
attack two days prior to his passing away from which he never
recovered. May God grant his soul eternal rest.

I cried that day. I went ahead and shared the news with all my school mates and I had an inbox full of condolences. And today, even after two years of his death, Br. Keane continues to inspire me and show me the best way to life my life.

Br. Keane in 1968
Br. Keane in 1968

He has served in India for 57 years starting from 4th November 1951.

Here is a glimpse of what this man was. I can proudly say that I am what I am because of Br. Keane.

Tony was not one to confine himself to school and classroom where he expended great energy in teaching. He had a very personal interest in the lives of his pupils and was genuinely supportive of them in their problems and difficulties. He spent two terms travelling around India on vocation promotion and gave himself fully to the task. His interest in the new recruits did not cease once they had joined but continued over time through letters and visits.

He was one of the pioneers who moved into the village of Amgi in Surat District. He was very happy to be there and shared the lives of the simple village folk as he struggled to come to terms with the intricacies of Gujarati. He was always ready to face any challenge and did his best pick up some of the local village dialect which unfortunately had no resemblance to Gujarati.

In later life he became involved with some village folk in Tamilnadu who had suffered loss during the tsunami. His priority was to try to provide proper housing for the affected people and in this he was helped in great part by the generosity of his large circle of friends in Ennis and elsewhere. He took great satisfaction in the opening of the first church in the world dedicated to Blessed Edmund Rice in Sivagangi, Madurai.
http://christtotheworld.blogspot.com/2009/08/br-keane-now-forever-with-christ-his.html

PS: Thank you one and all who have liked the post, I am sure your thoughts on Br. Keane are the same. Also a big ‘Thank you’ to BlogAdda for picking this post as a Spicy Saturday pick I am honoured.

Lyfe as it is

There have been a number of challenges that I have faced in these 27 years that I have lived so far. Some have been met with success, some with failure, while some I have failed to notice.

Now, a new challenge awaits me. All through my 27 years, I have never lived away from my family for a long time. Discounting the trip to Dublin which was a two and a half month affair.

Now, I have to move on to a complete new city away from my family for a longer duration.

There are one too many thoughts that are running through my mind right now on how I’ll be able to manage things there. Life at home was easy. You have the house to live in, have mom to cook you delicious food, have friends and family to take care of all the other things. In short you realy did not have to worry about the other things in your life they merged into it almost seamlessly.

The problem now is that I would have to integrate these other things into my life so as not to disturb the continuity of life.

And the lines have been drawn

Last Friday the demolition finally came to an end. Ending a month long wait to see the land flat. Punctured by the halt in construction activity the contractor was finding it difficult to get vehicles for transporting the debris from the house.

So once we had the flat land we had to measure it and make two parts of it for us and our uncle.

We called in the architect and he came in on Saturday evening. Both the contracters were there and armed with a measuring tape and the map of the area, he started measuring the land with the tape. The lines were drawn with lime powder and there were two halts made of the total land. This was the first milestone in the construction of the house.

Also it was the first big step in fulfilling of the dream. Te next step is excavation for the foundation. Since our plans are not finalized, we do not have the plans for the columns and foundation. And since uncle has his, he has taken the opportunity to start work at his end.

More updates to follow. 🙂

Previously…

House to Home – Update

If you have been following me on Twitter, Flickr or Facebook, you would have noticed that we have started with te demolition of the house. It was a mixed feeling to part with the house that I have grown up and spent 26 years of my life, but then it also had a feeling of a dream being fulfilled. I have uploaded some pics on flickr and will continue to update my online stats with the status if the dream being fulfilled. 🙂

House to Home

I would be re-building the house that I have lived in for 26 years now. We are ready to demolish the 50 year old structure this month and start with the foundation and columns later this month.

The house ‘Bella-Kunj‘ was built by my grandfather, in the 1960’s and has seen four generations of Almeida’s. Currently there are two families occupying the house, my uncle on the ground floor and our family on the first floor.

The reason for taking this extreme step of bringing down the house is mainly due to the age of the house. It has begun to show the signs of aging, there are cracks emerging on the surface and the house shakes when we walk on the terrace :(.

So, now there will be two separate houses in the area that the current house occupies. One for us and one for our uncle’s family.

I would be posting the milestones for this mega event as they happen with photographs, so do keep watching this space.

Revisiting: 10 things to do before I turn 30

Last year I wrote about 10 things to do before I turn 30, so here I am re-visiting it again.

Here are the 10 thigns again and my comments below in italics 🙂

  1. Work for myself
  2. Still far far away from this, wonder when I’ll get close

  3. Drive a car
  4. Learnt to ride a two-wheeler, I have a Learning License and ready to be tested for a pukka license. 🙂

  5. Learn French, Spanish, German
  6. Thought of starting this and then left in between, lack of dedicated time..

  7. Get lost in a country where I don’t speak the language (a real wild one )
  8. Wild one, not sure if this will see light.

  9. Do a Parachute jump from a plane
  10. Same here, wild one.. hehe 🙂

  11. Make a bet I couldn’t afford to lose
  12. Looking for some one to bet, anyone interested?

  13. Get in the habit of excersising. Every Single Day.
  14. Started gymming, but couldn’t continue, laziness and wordload creeping in. 😦

  15. See the world
  16. Yeah, gonna do this some day 🙂

  17. Learn to play a musical instrument with some expertise
  18. Waiting in the wings… 🙂

  19. Get Married
  20. In about 2-3 years from now 🙂

Let me know if you can play a part in helping me getting these things done 🙂

Contact

This is fun game that I have been playing with my colleagues while coming back home from work and it’s called “contact”. Here is how it goes.

Name of the Game: Contact

Number of Participants: More than 3

Type of Game: Anywhere you like

Game Play: So we got three players, lets name them A, B and C. A thinks of a word in his mind and B and C have to guess the word one letter at a time by giving clues to stump A, but C should be able to guess / “contact” the word. B and C start the countdown to the word. In the meanwhile, A tries to guess the new word. Once the countdown is complete and A cannot guess the new word, he has to spell out the second alphabet of the original word he had thought. And then the same cycle continues.

Example: A chooses a target word of “elephant” and announces to the players the first letter is “e” B mentally guesses the target word to be “eskimo,” and asks “I live in an igloo?”  A correctly respond to the guess by saying “It’s not an eskimo” Play continues with the next player making a guess. Or A incorrectly responds to the guess by saying something like “It’s not an elephant” (or any word beginning with “e” that is not eskimo) or fails to respond. If B and C successfully make contact, ie, successfully guess the word “eskimo” correctly after the countdown, A reveals the second letter of the target word to be “l”. Play continues with players making guesses using words that begin with “el”

Not So Secret Ballot After All

Chaos reigned when I told the polling officer that I want to vote for no one in the list of the candidates listed. She simply said that I could not do like that. I told her that there is a provision provided to do just that and its Section 49-O. She asked the Booth in-charge for help, but the Booth in-charge too did not have a clue on what this section was. This chaos went on for almost 10 minutes on the correct process to handle situations like this. Finally the representative from the Election Commission was summoned and he calmly asked the Booth in-charge to get my signature on  the sheet and add in that I am not voting for the candidates that are listed in there and then himself sign the sheet.

With this drama happening in the polling booth, almost all of the people who stood behind me to cast their votes came to know about my choice, which is not the ideal scenario for something that’s known as a ‘Secret Ballot’

I feel that the best possible way to get out of such situations is for the Election Commission to introduce a button on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) saying ‘None Of The Above’ . This will maintain the feature of ‘Secret Ballot’ and yet get to exercise the option of not voting for any of the candidates listed in the sheets.

10 things to do before I turn 30

I turned 25 today 😀

Here are a quickfire 10 things that I want to do before I turn 30.

  1. Work for myself
  2. Drive a car
  3. Learn French, Spanish, German
  4. Get lost in a country where I don’t speak the language (a real wild one :P)
  5. Do a Parachute jump from a plane
  6. Make a bet I couldn’t afford to lose
  7. Get in the habit of excersising. Every Single Day.
  8. See the world
  9. Learn to play a musical instrument with some expertise
  10. Get Married

Hope that these are not that difficult to achieve.

Cheers 🙂