India plans to eradicate begging

Beggars had been removed from Hyderabad ahead of Ivanka Trump’s visit

GN Bureau | January 5, 2018


#JJ Act   #Vijay Sampla   #Beggars  
Illustration: Ashish Asthana
Illustration: Ashish Asthana

India is making efforts to eradicate begging, but it is going to be an uphill task to resettle over 4 lakh beggars who are spread across the country.

In fact, beggars had been removed from Hyderabad, ahead of the visit of US president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump who attended the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that began on November 28.

The local administration faced sharp criticism for its ‘over enthusiasm’ in clearing beggars from city roads and restricting movement in areas that the Ivanka was scheduled to visit, reported Hindu Business Line.

The union government is now charting a comprehensive effort to address the issue.

Union minister Vijay Sampla informed parliament on Thursday that the ministry of women and child development is implementing a centrally sponsored Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) for children in need of care and protection (CNCP).

As per JJ Act, a child who is found working in contravention of labour laws for the time being in force or is found begging, or living on the street is included as a “child  in need of care and protection”.

The minister said the primary responsibility in execution of the JJ Act lies with the state governments/UTs.  Under ICPS, financial assistance is provided to the State Governments/UT Administrations for, inter-alia, undertaking a situational analysis of children in difficult circumstances, for setting up and maintenance of various types of Chid Care Institutions (CCIs).  The scheme, provides institutional care through CCIs.

As a rehabilitative measures in these CCIs, children are provided age appropriate education either within the institution or outside in a formal education system through convergence with other schemes and programs of the Government or Civil Society.  The Scheme also provides for family based non-institutional care through adoption, sponsorship and foster-care.

In December 2014, Sampla in a written reply in Rajya Sabha had said that the states are responsible for taking necessary preventive and rehabilitative steps.

As per available information, 20 States and 2 Union Territories have enacted their own anti-beggary legislation or adopted legislations enacted by other State/UTs.

The challenge is to rehabilitate 4,13,670 beggars - 2.2 lakh males and 1.91 lakh females.

NDTV reported that West Bengal with 81,244 beggars topped the list followed by 65,835 in Uttar Pradesh, 30,218 in Andhra Pradesh, 29,723 in Bihar and 28,695 in Madhya Pradesh.

Incidentally, in Assam, Manipur, and West Bengal female beggars outnumbered their male counterparts.

The union territories recorded the least number of beggars.

 

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