Panjola village of Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab has earned the distinction of being home to the youngest Aadhar card holders in the country ten-month-old twins Rupinder Kaur and Gurinder Kaur and one-year-old Sanmeen and Sofika. The twins have been enrolled for the UID card to avail the UPA governments direct benefits transfer scheme.
Having earned the dubious distinction of having the worst child sex ratio of 766 in the 2001 census,Fatehgarh Sahib was chosen as the first district in the country to start direct cash transfer to the beneficiaries of Dhanalakshmi scheme for girl students and mothers of newborn girls from January 1 this year. The scheme has been launched in the Sirhind block of the district as it had largest number of missing daughters as per the 2011 census. However,soon after rolling out the scheme,the district administration faced a problem as newborn girls came as twins in the last two years,the block has registered birth of six pairs of twin girls.
Generally,Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) advises enrollment of children for the Aadhar card only after the child attains the age of five,but in the case of Sirhind twins,exception was made so that the benefit of Dhanalakshmi scheme could be directly transferred to the twins.
In case of a single newborn,the first installment of Rs 5,000 on registration of a daughters birth is made to the mothers bank account linked to her Aadhar card (UID) number. But one card can represent only one beneficiary. In case of twins,it was decided to pay them the first installment through aadhar card of the mother at a gap of a month as two simultaneous payments cannot be made on one account. However,the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) the nodal agency for Aadhar cards has asked us to pay the twins directly by enrolling newborns for separate aadhar cards. The two pairs of twins of Panjola village have been enrolled and will be issued aadhar cards soon for receiving Rs 5,000 under the Dhanalakshmi scheme, said District Programme Officer Neeta Gupta.
The mindset of the residents of Panjola village about girl child has been improving. Now,there are more daughters than sons being born in Panjola village. In 2011,eight girls and three boys were born. A year later,six boys and seven girls were born. 27-year-old Sandeep Kaur,the mother of Rupinder and Gurinder,has now four daughters. After first two daughters,I wanted a son. But we never thought of getting a sex-determination test. Though my husband is a farm labourer,we can still bring up my four daughters well, she said. Sanmeen and Sofika were born nine months ago to a couple,Amandeep Kaur and Amandeep Khan,whose religions are different. While the wife is a Sikh,the husband is a Muslim.
Mindsets are now changing,said anganwadi worker Surinderpal Kaur. I was appointed three years ago,and each year we have recorded births of more daughters than sons. The awareness camps against foeticide have not only helped in ensuring that daughters are born but also that they are educated and brought up well, she added.
It covers a girl child from their birth to Class VIII. While the first of Rs 5,000 on birth registration and the second installment of Rs 1,250 for immunisation is paid to the mothers bank account,the school-going girls are being enrolled for Aadhar card for subsequent payments. The final installment of Rs 1 lakh is paid to the girls when they attain the age of 18.