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The first UID holders and their stories

Last updated on: September 30, 2010 16:36 IST

Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launches the Aadhaar Number under Unique Identification Authority of India, at Tembhali village, Nandurbar, Maharashtra on September 29 alongwith Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: PIB Prasanna D Zore and Uttam Ghosh in Tembhali, Maharashtra

Apart from the 12-digit identity number issued to 10 people of tribal-dominated Tembhali village in Maharashtra's Nandurbar district by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi there's nothing unique about these 10 villagers.

However, there are lots of similarities:

Like, all the 8 adults who got their UIDs today work as casual labourers.

Like, all of them work at farms or as construction workers either loading cement or sand bags or removing unwanted grass from the farms of the rich

Like, they earn a mere Rs 50 a day.

Like, most of them were told that they will get their UID cards from very important people this morning at around 9 am.

Like, they are all happy that they met Sonia Gandhi, touched her feet (a few of them elder to Sonia Gandhi too), passed a smile at her, folded their hands and got photographed with her.

Like, most of them think that the UID number will help them solve all their future problems.

Click NEXT to read the brief profiles of the 10 Indians who were the first to get their unique identity cards...

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Padvi Tarachand Rumal with his UID card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Padvi Tarachand Rumal
UID NO: 3003 7899 4680; Born 1947

Tarachand, who was born the same year we got our independence from the British yoke feels like he is a free man once again. The UID card he got today from Sonia Gandhi, thinks he, is universal panacea.

"Now, I will be able to do whatever I want," says this farm labourer staying close to the Tembhali health centre where Dr Singh and the Congress President went through a power point presentation on how the UID enrollment process was undertaken in Tembhali.

Tarachand leaves in a small mud-thatched roof with his wife. When asked if he got a chance to speak with Sonia Gandhi, he says, "No, I didn't. She seemed to be very engaged with the distribution process."

However, he did manage to bend lo and touch Congress President's feet, he emphasizes with a broad grin, trying to express the joy he experienced by bending to touch her feet.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Thakare Anil Ganesh shows his UID
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Thakare Anil Ganesh
UID No: 2366 8658 0771; Born 1998

Anil Thakare was born in the year when the Congress President was facing the roughest challenge of her time from those within her party as well as the opposition for her foreign origins.

This 12-year lad currently studies in Class VI at the Zilla Parishad School in the nearby Lonkheda village. Like, Tarachand, Anil too is visibly happy about his new found status.

When asked how he would feel when his picture will be flashed across the world in the next 24 hours he answers with a disarming smile. "I will be happy."

He says now that he has a UID and he will be able to get work easily when he grows up.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Kureshi Arman Shekh Munir shows his UID
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Kureshi Arman Shekh Munir
UID No: 3754 3436 2229; Born: 1959

Arman is the one who helped these correspondents with the addresses of six people who shared the dais with him and the Delhi dignitaries when we could not find them after returning to Tembhali, some 50 minutes after the cards were distributed at the nearby Satpuda Sugar Factory.

"You can find Kantibai Nabu Nigude and Thakare Jalubai Shivdas there," he points his first finger towards two small huts lined across the road from the health centre.

"I shook hands with Manmohan Singhji," he says with pride when you ask him if he got a chance to speak to any of the top politicians on the stage.

Like many in this lot of 10 he works as a farm labourer removing unwanted grass from the fields of rich farmers.

With his newfound UID card, he says, he can now buy his quota of rice (20 kg) and wheat (15 kg) per month from the local ration shop in installments even.

"Now, we can't be cheated by the shopkeeper as the UID card will have all the information about our off take of foodgrains and kerosene.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Mali Bhuri Rohidas shows her card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Mali Bhuri Rohidas
UID No: 2955 7714 7966; Born 1990

"I shook hands with Soniaji and touched her feet," says 19-year-old Bhuri Mali.

She has passed her Class X two years back and has been at home in the kitchen ever since.

"I tried to find a job but there are no opportunities available in the local Gram Panchayat or Zilla Parishad for me.

Bhuri informs us that once she starts earning some money the first thing that she will do with her UID is open a bank account.

"Now, nobody can stop me from opening a bank account. The only hitch now is I don't have money to deposit even if I open an account tomorrow," she says sadly.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: UID card holder Ranjna Sonawane Sadashiv with her son Hitesh
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Sonawane Ranjna Sadashiv
UID No: 7824 7431 7884 Born 1979

Sonwane Hitesh Sadashiv
UID No: 6055 8059 8615 Born 2005

This mother-son duo were one of the lucky few who names would be mentioned whenever people talk about those who got the first set of UID numbers.

While Ranjna works as a construction worker and or farm hand whenever the local contractor calls her and her husband, her 5-year-old son is says he is thankful that he got the card because of Sonia Gandhi.

When such a small boy talks like this you know he has been trained to mouth these words. Nevertheless, Hitesh is a smart aleck and faces the camera with aplomb.

"I study in Class I in the local gram panchayat school," he says pointing towards the place behind which Dr Singh and Sonia Gandhi inspected the UID enrollment process.

"We were too scared on the stage," says Ranjna about her nervousness on stage when she stood next to the Prime Minister of India and the Congress President to pose for a picture.

Like many of her fellow villagers Ranjna leaves in a dilapidated mud hut with only darkness inside the four walls.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Kantibai Nabu Nigude shows her card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Kantibai Nabu Nigude
UID No: 8571 1677 5901 Born 1945

Sixty-five-year-old Kantibai is the most interesting of the lot who got their UIDs today. For, she speaks a different language than others, in a different tone altogether.

"I haven't gone to work for the last 15 days," she says angrily, "and that means a big loss to me," without explaining why she took this long break from work.

"Why are you asking me the same questions again and again which your colleagues have already asked me outside the Satpuda Sugar Factory," her anger now more pronounced.

The very next moment she clams down and reasons out with a fellow journalist. "Will you give me enough to work and eat if I share my story with you," she asks loudly for everyone to hear. And then ends up laughing look at everybody's red faces.

By now, you must have guessed, dear reader, that before this 15-day break Kantibai too worked as a casual labourer earning Rs 50 a day.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Thakare Jalubai Shivdas shows her card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Thakare Jalubai Shivdas
UID No: 7655 7824 7928; Born 1947

Jalubai Shivdas, like Tarachand Padvi, was born in the same year our country became independent. With a family of five that includes her two daughters and two sons her husband passed away 10 years ago due to some illness the Rs 50 she earns per day, she says, is not enough for her to take care of her family's food.

One of her two sons too works like her but Rs 100 for this family -- it happens rarely that both of them get the job the same day -- is still not enough.

She, however, is happy that her other son has passed class X and will soon be helping the family add to its income.

"We didn't tell Soniaji about our plight because the local tehsil officers asked us to get our cards and keep quiet," she says when asked if she managed to strike a conversation with the Congress President.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Ratan Shiva Wagh shows his card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Ratan Shiva Wagh
UID No: 9260 7615 8703; Born 1952

I had two children but both died due to "some bimari (illness)", Shiva Wagh says when asked if he stays alone with his wife in his mud room built above a small raised platform.

He believes that UID card will not change his life much. "I don't know," he replies when asked how UID card will help him cope with future hassles when it comes to submitting any number of documents to avail of various government schemes.

"Nobody explains what schemes the government has started for the benefit of the poor," says a forlorn Shiva running his fingers over the smooth hair of one of the two small goats that he is raising.

He earns Rs 50 working as a farm labourer while "my wife cooks food for me," he says.

The first UID holders and their stories

Image: Mali Devidas Bhairas shows his card
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

Mali Devidas Bhairas
UID No: 9815 7979 3743 Born 1969

Out of all the 10 who got their cards today Devidas Bhairas is the only one who confidently declares that he will open a bank account in the nearby Shahada village in the next couple of days.

He has been more resourceful than many others in Tembhali for he finds work every day of the week and earns Rs 300 every week. He doesn't work on Sundays.

"I know a few big people personally in Shahada," Devidas, who has studied till Class XII says with a grin. "But most others here are not so fortunate like me," he adds wanly.

So, why didn't he let Sonia Gandhi know this when he met her on the stage?

"There are no rewards for raising protests here," says this father of two sarcastically.