Sarita Rai from Lucknow narrates his hardships in procuring LPG cylinders to keep the fire burning at home before Aadhaar card arrived as a saviour:
My biggest nightmare, up till a few years ago was to get an LPG cylinder refilled. Obsessively, I used to stare at the flame of my cooktop. A feeble, diminishing flame meant it was time for a new cylinder. And then began the drill. Arranging for a new cylinder could take days so I had to be on my toes, praying that the cylinder does not go kaput at an odd hour.
The first exercise was to take the empty cylinder to the distributer, hoping that a refill was available. On many occasions, a refill wasn’t available. We were told that the truck with new cylinders would be arriving ‘shortly’. The word ‘shortly’ here meant anything between a few hours to a couple of days. Our job was to wait and order food from outside, or beg for a cylinder from unobliging neighbours. Or if the wait becomes too unbearable, the last resort was to buy a refilled cylinder from the black market by paying a good extra price.
However, my Aadhaar card has been a godsend for me. I linked my 12-digit Aadhaar identification number to my LPG consumer number. It has helped me in getting my cylinder refilled on time and at the same time has helped me save some money. I now get the LPG subsidy amount, which is about Rs 300 – Rs 350 directly transferred to my bank account. Though, the amount that is transferred is not much, the amount that I manage to save is enough to sail us through the month.
There are other benefits too. Buying a sim card, for instance, has now become easier. Earlier we had to produce a big bunch of documents for procuring a sim card. But now, all I need to give is my thumb impression and Aadhaar card.
The government must start programmes to make people aware about the benefits of the Aadhaar card. In my personal capacity, I always try to make more people aware of the benefits. I am happy that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme. Several housewives like me are beneficiaries of the scheme.