Chennai: The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) organised an Aadhaar enrolment drive exclusively for children living in orphanages, government homes, open shelter homes, reception unit and for destitutes.
An official of the DCPU said, “Around 380 children living in 15 homes were given Aadhaar cards during the drive.” This is just the beginning, as there are thousands yet to be covered by the enrolment drive. Speaking about why the drive is being conducted, Protection Offcer, Suresh Victor, said, “There are 63 homes for children in Chennai, where around 6,000 to 7,000 live. In 2015, we covered 4,000-odd children. Now, we have begun issuing cards to the rest of the children. Those who are issued Aadhaar cards are aged between 5-18. For the younger children, the cards are left with the homes and given to them when they leave it.”
“We asked the children who have parent(s) to give ration card or voter card IDs; for others, we used the proof provided by their respective homes,” Suresh said.
Another reason for issuing the Aadhaar cards is to update the Child Tracking System. It is a database of children who are orphans and destitutes with their personal information. “It is a national-level portal; the website has data of children living in every home in all the States. Their photo, details of parents, looks, identity marks and some other basic information is entered. This way, in case the child goes missing and reaches another State, it will be easy to locate him. The police also has access to the portal. This also avoids cases of mis-matches. In case, the Childline finds a child which is missing, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) relays the information on the website,” he said.