Maharashtra government has made Aadhaar cards mandatory to avail any state-run free nutrition scheme. That means, healthy food meant for malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, can now be availed only if they have Aadhaar cards.
According to sources, the move to make Aadhaar cards mandatory was in a bid to bring in transparency and efficiency and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner.
In a notification dated April 6, the Maharashtra Women and Child Development (WCD) department made it "necessary" to start registering Aadhaar card numbers of the beneficiaries.
"If a beneficiary is found with no registered Aadhaar number or has not followed the procedure to apply for Aadhaar, and continues to avail the scheme, the child development project officer will be held responsible," the notification said. It said the notification was based on the Centre's directions issued on February 6.
According to the reports, there are 56 lakh malnourished children and 9 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers covered under the scheme that was implemented in the state since 1975.