By PIB Delhi
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes sub-scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’. This scheme covers several comprehensive measures including welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging. The focus of the scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on. The scheme would be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Rodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), institutions and others. Scheme provides for the use of the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of Begging.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has also initiated pilot projects on Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons engaged in the act of Begging in ten cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmedabad. These pilots are being implemented in these cities by State Governments/UTs/Local Urban Bodies and Voluntary Organizations. Several comprehensive measures including survey and identification, mobilization, basic hygiene and medical facilities, providing basic documentation, counseling, rehabilitation, education, skill development and sustainable settlement of persons engaged in begging are being undertaken under these pilots.
Further, the Department of School Education & Literacy in partnership with the States and UT Governments have taken steps to ensure that the children into begging are released and enrolled in schools to complete their elementary education.
No funds are being allotted to NGOs for rehabilitation of destitute women and children by this Ministry. However, the Ministry of Women and Child Development supports the States
/UTs either by themselves or in association with voluntary organizations for providing institutional care for destitute children covering age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counseling etc.
This information was given by The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment shri A. Narayanswamy in the Loksabha in a written reply.