Scanners fail to detect fingerprints, Ayushman recipients fume: The Tribune India


Karam Prakash

Tribune press service

Patiala, February 2

When Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana in August last year, the hopes of Sardara Singh, 56, a construction worker here, were rekindled. He was sure he could get his wife, who suffered from chronic respiratory problems, treated.

However, he was unable to avail the benefits of the scheme despite being a legitimate beneficiary, as the scanners failed to detect his fingerprints for biometric identification.

The construction works caused the problem of mechanical skin abrasion which led to the problem of identification. But the fact that the nodal agents had no method other than biometrics to complete the registration process was what had annoyed the beneficiaries.

“With my wife and two children, I went again to the community health center in Patran on Friday, but the scanner could not detect my fingerprints. I wanted my wife to be treated under the program,” Sardara Singh said.

There are many others who have faced similar issues. Ragvir Singh, another worker, must have returned disappointed as his registration process also failed to start despite repeated attempts. “Today I came back here but to no avail. Unfortunately there is no other process in place to complete the registration process.

Bagga Singh, ‘aayog mitra’ at the community health centre, said: “We have already tried several times but the scanner did not detect the fingerprints. Officials have been notified. We asked the workers to give us time to find an alternative.

A forensic expert told The Tribune that the loops and spirals that form patterns on the fingers are usually destroyed when construction workers work with their bare hands. He said pupil detection could be used as an alternative.

Vijay Walia, a social activist fighting for the rights of construction workers, said: “Despite the fact that the Department of Labor was aware of the issue, they should have already found an alternative. It is inhumane to refuse registration to these poor people.


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