From a Correspondent
Boko, February 14: The Development Commissioner (Handicraft), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, has issued photo identity cards for handicraft artisans. For Northeast India, the Guwahati office is responsible for issuing the photo identity cards.
In October last year, the office had issued new Performa for the same photo identity card where they asked for Aadhar number and also declared that the validity of the existing identity cards already issued by the office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) would lapse by December 31, 2015. In the new Performa, column no. 8 is for Aadhar number and there is no other option.
As per record, the Northeast has maximum number of weavers and other artisans (cane and bamboo). Earlier, the Director, Guwahati Regiol Office, acknowledged in the month of November that Aadhar cards had not been issued in Assam. But now the same office has returned all the Performa without Aadhar numbers.
Madhabi Das, secretary, and other office bearers of Eri-Buwa Kota Samany Samity, Boko, alleged that this was the conspiracy of the Central Government to deprive the artisans and weavers of Assam. Hardly 1 per cent population has been issued Aadhar and it is not possible to issue Aadhar within a year as NRC update is going on. According to the Development Commissioner (Handicraft), the Government of India has made Aadhar mandatory where benefits are availed. But without Aadhar, LPG subsidy is availed in Assam and also Supreme Court of India has issued a verdict that Aadhar is not compulsory.
More than 22,000 weavers under the umbrella of Eri Buwa Kota Samany Samiti have urged the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter else they will opt for NOTA option in the forthcoming assembly elections.