The right to live with dignity is a constitutional imperative. However, it rarely manifests in discussions surrounding digital initiatives in governance. Centralised data dashboards — valuable as they are — have become the go-to mode for assessing policies, relegating principles such as human dignity and hardships in accessing rights to its blind spots. Often when technological glitches prevent one from accessing rights, there is a tendency to make the rights-holder feel responsible for it. For instance, I recall being in Rajasthan with Natho Ba, an old MGNREGA worker with severe speech impediment. Despite repeated attempts at a bank to get his e-KYC, he wasn’t able to access his own MGNREGA wages because his biometrics wouldn’t work. The bank manager said in Hindi, “His fingers are defective”. (Read More)
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