As many as 500 missing children have been traced over the last few months through Aadhaar, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Ajay Bhushan Pandey, said on Friday.
"Over the last few months, more than 500 missing children have been identified through Aadhaar," he said addressing a session at the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) 2017.
Explaining this, he said this happened in instances where a child found in an orphanage underwent Aadhaar enrolment and it was found that his/her 12-digit biometric identifier had already been made. "...through that we are able to trace," Pandey said.
On a lighter note, he said the script of classic Bollywood potboilers about siblings separating and re-uniting after decades would now have to be re-worked with Aadhaar in the picture.
India is among the nations with the largest number of children in the world, with about 40 per cent of the 1.2 billion population being below the age of 18, according to 2011 Census.
According to CRY (Child Rights and You), an NGO working for child rights, the number of children who went missing and remain untraced across the country increased by about 84 per cent between 2013 and 2015. It quoted government data to say about 180 children go missing on an average every day.
Speaking at the session on 'Digital Identity for All: Global Best Practices', Pandey further said the total saving so far on account of Aadhaar was over $10 billion as its linkages to various government schemes had helped remove "ghosts and duplicates" from the system.
Once Aadhaar is linked to more government programmes and subsidies, the savings could be $10 billion every year, he said.
The total Aadhaar base currently stands at 1.19 billion, Pandey said, adding that 99 per cent of adults have Aadhaar.