Direct cash transfers: Long queue for cards, long delay for benefits

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SummaryReshma is among 11 women who have thronged the Mission Convergence office to complain.

been waiting for hours. “We have been waiting since 8 am. We have to get the cards, else we won’t get benefits,” says Sangeeta Yadav, while her nine-month-old baby wails in the heat. Several have not received their children’s scholarships for lack of a card.

“The DBT scheme is still in the preliminary stages... We are still doing Aadhar enrolment. We get around 200-300 people every day for Aadhar generation,” says Anoop Thakur, SDM (Kanjhawala), Northwest.

Another scheme that appears to be suffering after being included under DBT is the Janani Suraksha Yojana, under which BPL women get Rs 600 for a childbirth registered with a government hospital. “Earlier women were given cash or cheques but now it goes straight to their accounts. But only those with Aadhar numbers and bank accounts are given it, so invariably some get left out,” says a government official dealing with the scheme in Northeast.

“The biggest problem in Delhi has been that banks don’t cooperate and are reluctant to open no-frill accounts... The business correspondent model also exists more in the books and less on the ground,” says Sanjay Kumar, director of Sewa Bharat, an NGO that has been working in the area of direct cash transfers.

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