Intervention and penumbra 1: the Humsafar Trust/Wipro TG/Hijra UID Aadhaar camp

As promised, this week’s posts focus on questions of transgender enrollment in UIDAI.

The first text I want to consider is a thread posted on the Gay Bombay listserve (http://www.mail-archive.com/gay_bombay@yahoogroups.com/) and accompanying website archive. For what it is worth, several of the people posting and commenting are good friends, friends of friends, or long-time acquaintances.

The thread begins with a post contributed by Vivek (Vicky) Anand, who is the head of the well-known organization the Humsafar Trust (hereafter HST), based in Mumbai (Bombay) in the suburban neighborhood of Vakola: his position on the Trust’s blog as well as this post is listed as CEO.

By “intervention” I mean in this case the effort by HST to provide the means for “the TG/hijra community in the city” to be registered for Aadhaar UID cards, through this NGO’s collaboration with one of the private corporate entities (Wipro) delegated by UIDFAI to register “residents.”

By “penumbra” I mean simply the conversations and artifacts that build up around and in the wake of this intervention, such as this thread, and that extend the force of the intervention itself. I draw the term from legal usages of penumbra as the “outer boundary of authority.”

Here is the first post: tomorrow I will discuss some of the responses on the thread.

3 things to note: (1) though the registrar (here Wipro) gives potential registrants a large list of possible documents to establish both POA (proof of address) and POI (proof of identity), it is not clear to me at this point how easy it is to establish either, but especially POA, without a formal and legal relation to property. Perhaps my concern is unfounded. (2) Note the (ubiquitous, in India) language of the intervention as being a “camp.” I have been working for some time on both the genealogy of the health camp and its varied functions and effects. Camps often imply (1) mobile, (2) temporary or seasonal, and (3) charitable or otherwise patronizing (literally, not necessarily pejoratively) interventions. Interesting that here the link between the NGO, the corporate outsourcer, and the state [through UIDAI but also HST’s close and carefully nurtured relations to the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai] is manifest as such a camp. (3) The DIC [drop-in centre] offers a range of services, ranging from a “safe space” for socializing and networking to clinical services, counseling, AIDS prevention information, a library, and social and educational events. Much of these are linked to what in a somewhat different context the anthropologist and physician Vinh-Kim Nguyen has termed therapeutic citizenship. So worth thinking about that the UID emerges as part of this assemblage of therapeutic citizenship.

Humsafar drop-in centre clinic

g_b UID Adhaar Cards for LGBT community: The Humsafar Trust (Mumbai ):

Vivek R Anand
Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:29:05 -0700

Dear All

The Humsafar Trust has contacted Wipro td. which is one of the 
enrolment agency for the UID cards (Aadhaar). We are happy to 
announce that they have set up a camp in The Humsafar Trust Vakola
to facilitate the process of issuing UID cards to the TG/Hijra 
community in the city. We kickstarted the process of TG/Hijra 
enrolment today in the Vakola DIC.  Document requirements are one 
Proof of identity (POI) and one Proof of Address (POA). (*Detailed 
list provided at the end)*  We also invite the Lesbian, Gay, 
Bisexual and Intersex communities to avail this facility in Mumbai.
Please take prior appointment from *Mr. Javed (9619058909)* and 
*Amit Jakhal (9222748196)* so as to efficiently co-ordinate the 
same. The timings are 12 noon to 6.30 pm. The camp will be in the 
Vakola DIC [drop-in centre] for at least 1 week.

*PROOF OF ADDRESS (Any One original is required at the time of 
enrolment)*

*1. Passport*

*2. Bank Statement/ Passbook*

*3. Post Office Account Statement/Passbook*

*4. Ration Card*

*5. Voter ID*

*6. Driving License*

*7. Government Photo ID cards*

*8. Electricity Bill (not older than 3 months)*

*9. Water bill (not older than 3 months)*

*10. Telephone Landline Bill (not older than 3 months)*

*11. Property Tax Receipt (not older than 3 months)*

*12. Credit Card Statement (not older than 3 months)*

*13. Insurance Policy*

*14. Signed Letter having Photo from Bank on letterhead*

*15. Signed Letter having Photo issued by registered Company on 
letterhead*

*16. Signed Letter having Photo issued by Recognized Educational 
Instruction on letterhead*

*17. NREGS Job Card*

*18. Arms License*

*19. Pensioner Card*

*20. Freedom Fighter Card*

* **PROOF OF  IDENTITY (Any One original is required at the time of

enrolment)*

*1. Passport*

*2. PAN (Permanent Account Number) Card*

*3. Ration/ PDS Photo Card*

*4. Voter Identity (ID)*

*5. Driving License*

*6. Government Photo ID Cards*

*7. NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) Job Card*

*8. Photo ID issued by Recognized Educational Institution*

*9. Arms License*

*10. Photo Bank ATM (Automated Teller Machine) Card*

*11. Photo Credit Card*

*12. Pensioner Photo Card*

*13. Freedom Fighter Photo Card*

*14. Kissan Photo Passbook*

*15. Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) / Ex-Servicemen    
Contributory Health*

*Scheme (ECHS) Photo Card*

*16. Address Card having Name and Photo issued by Department of 
Posts*

*17. Certificate of Identify having photo issued by Group A 
Gazetted Officer on letterhead*

best
Vivek Anand
CEO
The Humsafar Trust
Advertisements

Hijras and UIDAI registration: rights, recognition, transgender, violence

One critical site to think about UIDAI is in its distributed promise and threat for people identified as hijra, kinnar, aravani, khusra, khwaja, eunuch, and so forth (these different names and the distinctions they imply matter immensely—”hijra” is frequently both less available and less respectful as a term of reference or address, and I am of necessity less comfortable in the naming of this blog post). By distributed promise or hope and distributed violence or threat I mean both that the commitment to UID as a better guarantor of fundamental recognition, rights, identity, justice, and entitlements, and the concern about UID as a powerful form of policing, surveillance, and biological foreclosure of identity and the right to have rights, are unevenly claimed by different actors and groups within transgender communities and among the large NGO apparatus central to their contemporary governance.

So this next week in a series of short posts I would like to begin to look at emerging questions of UID and its relation to the politics of transgender survival, sovereignty, and policing. And maybe I will be able to rethink some of the questions of the duplicate that I began to frame this past week.