From Ayodhya to Thiruvananthapuram, Centre gears up to eradicate begging in 30 cities by 2026
The Centre has designated 30 cities for the survey and rehabilitation of adults, especially women and children, involved in begging, spanning from Ayodhya in the north to Guwahati in the east, and from Trimbakeshwar in the west to Thiruvananthapuram in the south.
In a significant move towards creating a 'Bhiksha-Vritti Mukt Bharat' (beggary-free India), the Centre has identified 30 cities across the country for a comprehensive survey and rehabilitation initiative targeting adults, particularly women and children, engaged in begging. Led by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the initiative aims to support district and municipal authorities in identifying and addressing 'hotspots' of begging in these cities by 2026. The ministry's efforts are part of the sub-scheme called 'Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprises' (SMILE).
From Ayodhya in the north to Guwahati in the east, Trimbakeshwar in the west to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, these cities were chosen based on their religious, historical, or tourism significance.
To ensure effective monitoring and implementation, the ministry will launch a national portal and a mobile app by mid-February. These platforms will facilitate real-time data updating on individuals identified to be engaged in begging, allowing for better coordination and intervention strategies.
While action plans have been received from 25 cities, consent is pending from Kangra, Cuttack, Udaipur, and Kushinagar. Notably, authorities in Sanchi have reported no instances of begging in their area, prompting consideration for another city. On the other hand, cities like Kozhikode, Vijayawada, Madurai, and Mysuru have already completed their surveys.
The implementation roadmap involves multiple stages, including surveying, mobilization, rescue, relocation to shelters, and comprehensive rehabilitation. This rehabilitation process encompasses education, skill development, and employment opportunities aimed at facilitating the reintegration of individuals into mainstream society.
Funds are being released to implementing district and municipal authorities based on the action plans submitted, ensuring adequate resources for the successful execution of the initiative.
The Centre's proactive approach underscores its commitment to addressing social issues and improving the lives of marginalized individuals. By targeting begging at its root, the government aims to create a more inclusive and equitable society, laying the foundation for a beggary-free India.