#AadhaarFail visualization across India – Kaarana – Medium


PS: This article is a work in progress and may be updated.

As part of Rethink Aadhaar, we had been thinking for some months about creating a visual representation of public reports of denial of welfare cases due to Aadhaar issues. These could be due to Aadhaar seeding issue, or ABBA (Aadhaar Based Biometric Authentication). This endeavor got an impetus when a data journalist, Siddharthya Roy contacted us to collaborate in building such a visualization.

A “case”, or datapoint on the map is a recording of 1 or more persons being denied a welfare benefit or entitlement (PDS, Pension, NREGA, medical services, education) due to Aadhaar.

Many cases of people being denied some entitlement were uncovered, but we only took the cases we could attribute to Aadhaar. E.g. the exclusion below was analyzed and found to be not due to Aadhaar, hence was not included.

Results & Impact

Should be self explanatory ๐Ÿ™‚

Can be viewed here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1sBwkGiFuoFyLGmXm3wVjYcdzxHfGgVIK&ll=22.145784936412767%2C77.60817423437504&z=5

We hope such a interactive graphic will spur people and policy makers to realize that Aadhaar integration into welfare has been fraught with issues, issues that affect the poor and marginalized more than privileged classes.


  1. News reports from various publications
  2. Videos and photos from known activists across the country — these include in person meetings with affected persons either in their location, or at UIDAI offices, or at protest meetings, or public hearings etc


  1. We analyzed publicly available information across news reports, tweets, videos, protest / hearing meeting reports etc of denial of a welfare benefit or entitlement (PDS, Pension, NREGA, medical services, education)
  2. Thousands of data points were uncovered at this stage
  3. As mentioned earlier, only those cases that could be attributed to Aadhaar were taken up for further processing
  4. Each data point (i.e. case of denial of welfare entitlements) was checked for genuineness
  5. Since many of the cases were reported multiple times, the duplicates were removed
  6. Each case’s details were prepared: name of person affected, location including lat/long for mapping, type of denial, link to supported evidence, etc
  7. Finally all the data points were imported into a google map for visualization


Q. Why are so many areas empty?

This is just the first effort, more will follow. We are dependent on ground reports, and an area being empty does NOT mean that there are no reported cases, just that we may not have gotten to them yet.

Q. How did someone die in Pakistan and Bangladesh? Why that mark inside Pakistan? Or some Indian ran with their #Aadhaar card and crossed into Pakistan complaining about not getting ration? and other such smartyboi questions ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nah, nothing so fancy. Its just a mapping artifact at borders, zoom in and they will show up in the right place.

Q. What about non welfare denial of service due to Aadhaar?

That would make the entire map red!

But seriously, we welcome if someone would take this up. We’ll help you through the entire process.

Q. Is there a way we can also contribute data?

Yes, coming soon.


A remarkable group effort has gone into putting the map together. Following folks contributed: @siddharthyaroy, @ASomanchi, @akshay_bhalotia, @abhinav_m, @mischiefkar, @exitCodeNone and me (@zehawk)

Next steps

Call for volunteers

If you’d like to contribute your time and effort towards this project as we continue mapping cases of exclusion, please reach out to us and we will be delighted to take your help.

Call for more cases

A method for people to contribute cases will be live soon.


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