Rashmi, President of the DDA Resident Welfare Association, tells a woman from Harijan basti that her Aadhaar card cannot be made
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The Identity project emerged as a result of our dissatisfaction at the nature of the debate that was emerging on the area of digital governance in India.
Over the past three years we have conducted numerous field visits in seven Indian states.These visits include numerous video-conversations, some short and others very long, with a diverse number of those who were involved with this entire process of participating in the emergence of a digital ecosystem of governance. These are interviews with people being enrolled into the Aadhaar programme, with district-level Panchayat and other officials, with numerous State government bureaucrats, with private enrollment representatives, representatives of various governmental services, with operators and other members of this digital workforce. Conversations are often long, spontaneous and deliberately unstructured: and the focus is mainly on a vérité style using amateur video.
Some key issues that we shortlisted for detailed inquiry were issues of migrants, both domestic and across international borders, homelessness in cities, and the financially excluded. Each of these areas was discussed in considerable detail at major public consultations held in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore, in partnership with the CSDS, the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, and the Urban Research and Policy Programme Initiative of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. All videos of all presentations made at these events are also available here.
CSCS also has an extensive text archives of material on the field as a whole, available on http://eprints.cscsarchives.org
Badhiyal: Rajnagar, Palam Gaon: Rashmi, the president of the RWA is asked why she thinks so many people are coming here to get the UID, what could be the benefits. She says that they are all from villages and that the general feeling is that if a card is being introduced then there ought to be a use for it, so they must get it. One of the residents is told that she cannot enrol because she lives at the Harijanbasti, as there will be a centre that is scheduled to open there.
He had no letter, so he brought this kind of document, and we verified it, and we did his enrolment.
So why do you think people are coming in such crowds?
Rashmi (RWA representative of the DDA colony): People think it will be of use some day, so they come.
It is a gaon-way of thinking. They came just like that from there.
The crowd was so much, they went there. So we shifted them.
Now their (enrolment) will not happen, until they go to an MLA or MP, and get an (introducer's) certificate.
Because how does one know this is her own child?
They have not put any ID proof. They have to provide a proof of identity, then the MP or MLA signs, then only it gets done.
They think that they can come as they like.
They didn't let us give.
Then go to these public, see how they do it, where they go.
Here the crowd is coming - look there.
How did you decide whom to let in?
We decided to let them in. Lunch is at 2, then everyone goes out. Then we open again between 3 and 5.
I am the President of the RWA there. The DDA Flats. So came here only as a social worker, for social service.
Didi, should I put a photograph?
Rashmi: No, do it like this. =
Woman: For my four children, do I get four (introducer) letters?
Yes, for four children you need four forms
Woman; How do I get my card?
Rashmi: You will not get a card. My voice has gone hoarse telling you this. These people - if you tell them once, they will never get it.
Interview: What problem are you facing?
Rashmi: The card has not happened (not coherent, Laughs).
Rashmi: Where do you live?
Woman: There, in the colony.
Rashmi: Which colony? The Harijan Basti? Harijan Basti people's cards are not going to be made here. (Again) Harijan basti people's cards are not being made here.
Interviewer: Can you tell us what is the problem you are having?
Rashmi: I have told her ten times what is happening.
Interviewer: Where is this Harijan Basti?
Rashmi: Down there. They have their own camps. This is only for Badhiyal people.
This is only for Badhiyal-walon.That side is Palam-Chhotiyal.
Badhiyal and Chhotiyal are two different locations.
Interviewer: So the Harijan basti is on that side.
Enrollment offier: Don't take my photograph.
Interviewer: This is only research.
Interviewer: How long have the enrolments gone on?
Rashmi: Eight-none days.
Enrolment officer: In all of South West Delhi there are 12 centres. We started in January.