POLL | Guwahatians Feel Harassed By Banks While Enrolling For Aadhar

Thursday, 17 October 2019

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POLL | Guwahatians Feel Harassed By Banks While Enrolling For Aadhar

Harshita Himatsingka | August 24, 2019 16:18 hrs

Have you been harassed by banks while getting Aadhar made? 

Total votes: 1,600

Yes: 55%

No: 45%

While it is not mandatory for citizens to enroll to get an Aadhar, it has, in this chaotic time in Assam, become a necessity. The Aadhar card is viewed as a pivotal document to prove one’s identity and ensure that they are indeed citizens of India. 

The Aadhar is a 12-digit random number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to eliminate and duplicate fake identities.

Given the importance of this document, one might imagine that obtaining it is a simple and sorted process. However, this is not the case. To enroll for an Aadhar card, one has to visit an enrollment centre accredited by UIDAI. A common enrollment centre that most people frequent to get the Aadhar is their local bank. However, it has come to notice that various banks in the city are creating a hassle for the public and not allowing them to complete the procedure for enrollment in a professional manner.  

G Plus recently conducted a poll asking readers if they had been victims of harassment by banks during enrollment for Aadhar. A total of 1,600 participants took part in the poll. Out of this, 55 percent said that they had been harassed by banks, while the remaining 45 percent noted that they did not face such troubles while enrolling for Aadhar in banks. 

The problems faced by the enrollees consist of the banks not being properly functional, asking for additional charges or to open a bank account besides rude behaviour by the bank’s staff. 

“I went to the SBI Beltola branch so many times and every time, either they were updating their machine or it was broken. What a joke!” said Mousumi Das, a resident of Guwahati. 

To enroll for the Aadhar, one has to submit demographic information such as their date of birth, name (verified), gender, mobile number, email id etc. One also has to submit biometric data such as ten fingerprints, two iris scans and a facial photograph, according to UIDAI’s website. Thus, to obtain all these documents, the banks have to be adept at processing these data and ensure that the tools required are available and in working condition. 

Similarly, a number of people also complained that several banks have voluntarily refused to enroll people for Aadhar if they do not have a bank account in that particular enrollment centre which is basically a branch of the bank. However, there is no such rule mentioned by UIDAI that states that individuals or families need to first create a bank account to be eligible for Aadhar enrollment at a particular bank’s branch. 

“Almost all banks such as Allahabad Bank near ABC GS Road, ICICI Bank near Bhangagarh, Kotak Bank near ABC, HDFC Bank Zoo road etc are all full of excuses and deny updating your Aadhar card if a bank account is not maintained in their respective banks,” said Ajay Shaw, another concerned citizen. 

In an identical incident, another individual, Partha Pratim Das who was trying to enroll for Aadhar said, “Private banks are using Aadhar to increase their business. They are asking to open accounts and only then would they conduct the Aadhar formalities.” 

In the poll conducted, a number of respondents also mentioned that the staff at these banks was unprofessional. 

“There was one lady at an SBI branch in Guwahati who yelled at my mother and me. I am not an uneducated person and that lady is working in a nationalized bank. So she should know how to behave. There is no need to shout and yell to put her point across,” said Angel, another victim who was harassed by bank officials when she went to enroll for Aadhar. 

Looking at the flip side, there were also a number of people who were able to enroll for their Aadhar successfully without much hassle. 

“My enrollment process went swiftly at the private bank I went to in Hatigaon. It hardly took 20 to 30 minutes. No charges, as it’s clearly mentioned that enrollment is free. I haven’t been to the public banks, but am well aware of the troubles and hassles,” added Satya Kamal Gogoi, a resident of the city. 

However, the bankers who have been working tirelessly at these banks have stated that it is not an easy task to conduct Aadhar enrollment procedures given their already burdensome workload and that the government should implement better resources so that both the enroller and the enrollee can come out happy in the end.  

“Do you have any idea how much pressure we bankers have? Aadhar enrollment is done by third party members, not by banks or UIDAI. Banks have just given a roof for enrollment of Aadhar and nothing else. It’s just because the government itself does not have enough trust in its own offices that they are diverting all the non-profit related work to the banks,” said Dipankar Borah, a banker currently based in Tezpur, Assam. 

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