Indian woman loses pension due to biometrics
04 December 2017 16:50 GMT

A 65-year-old Indian woman suffering from leprosy has reportedly been told she cannot be given a pension because she has no fingerprints and is unable to use iris recognition.

In August this year, she got a letter from the office in Rajajinagar stating that that her pension would stop in seven days if she failed to link it with her Aadhaar card. 

Fingerprint and iris scan are mandatory for Aadhaar verification, but Sajida doesn’t have those biometrics because her fingerprints and eyes have been damaged by leprosy.

Dr Ayub Ali Zai, administrative medical officer, Leprosy Hospital, said, “She sells clothes and meets her meagre needs with that money. But since August she hasn’t received pension. She is totally blind in both the eyes, has no fingers or toes. I don’t know how her biometric identification can be done,” reported the New Indian Express.

Zai wrote a letter to UIDAI officials requesting them to exempt her from biometric verification considering her problem. “We don’t know if this is just an administrative delay in sending pension or if they have stopped it,” he added.

When the newspaper contacted UIDAI asking if exemptions could be made in biometrics for people with total disability, a top official requesting anonymity said, “Let them get enrolled first. Even if the woman doesn’t have sight, there may be biometrics that the machine can read. Only when the machine is unable to read and they get a rejection letter, it can be considered at the back end. There are cases where leprosy patients have got Aadhaar with whatever is left of their biometrics.”