Being a prisoner is no longer a hurdle to get Aadhaar card in Kerala now, thanks to the ambitious programme of the state prisons department.

With a target of linking all people in the state, cutting across age and other social barriers under Aadhaar, the department has made it mandatory for jail inmates also.

Though the drive is broadly envisaged to link all jail inmates under Aadhaar, the initial focus is to bring over 3,500 convicted prisoners, cooling their heels in various state jails, under the 12 digit number, prison department sources said.

Jail authorities also have plans to keep the Aadhaar number of prisoners in their data bank to keep a tab on them even after they complete their term.

The initiative has already been launched in various prisons and as many as 27 prisoners have enrolled for Aadhaar at the Central Prison at Poojappura near  Thiruvananthapuram last week.

"People from all strata of society are being linked to Aadhar. Our initiative is envisaged to help prisoners get enroled for Aadhaar," PTI quoted jail DGP R Sreelekha as saying.

Arrangements have been made to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities within jail premises in particular intervals to cover maximum inmates, she said.

(With PTI inputs)