New Delhi. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes subscheme – ‘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, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on. The scheme would be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, 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. In case of non-availability of existing shelter homes, new dedicated shelter homes are to be set up by the implementing agencies. Under this Scheme, funds allocated for the next five years, are given below:
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 Ahmadabad. 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, counselling, rehabilitation, education, skill development and sustainable settlement of persons engaged in begging are undertaken under these pilots.
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This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri A. Narayanaswamyin a written reply in Lok Sabha today.