Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi handed out the first set of the UID numbers, said that the UID would empower SCs, STs, women and other marginalised sections of the country.
“The poor did not have any identity proof. Due to this shortcoming, they could not open bank accounts or get ration cards. They could not avail the benefits of government welfare programmes because of this and many times, these benefits were pocketed by others.
“We will give every opportunity to live a dignified life to our poor, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes people," he added.
Terming Tembhli "the first UID village", Sonia Gandhi reflected similar views stating that the project will give a huge boost to the poor.
Located about 50 kilometres from the nearest town, Tembhli is part of the most backward Nandurbar district of Maharashtra. The village also has a huge tribal population.
Five women and three children were among the ten who received the 12-digit number Unique Identification Number, which will be the link to all demographic details.
Besides ensuring better access of government schemes and programmes to the people, the UID project also aims at addressing issues such as rigging in elections and misuse of government funds allotted for people.
The project considered as a showcase initiative of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in 2009 handed over to Nandan Nilekani, who was also present at the launch.