Kejriwal govt plans intense anti-begging drive

Kejriwal govt plans intense anti-begging drive

Beggars to be picked up from Delhi and brought to RCC

Kejriwal govt plans intense anti-begging drive
Rounding up beggars at signals and sending them to beggar homes may turn out to be a futile exercise if there is not a sound rehabilitation plan in place, said social workers.

The Delhi government is planning to launch an intense anti-begging drive starting Monday.

The Social Welfare Department has planned a 10-day-long drive in which beggars would be picked up from across Delhi and brought to the Reception-cum-Classification Centre (RCC) for beggars in Kingsway Camp. The metropolitan magistrate would then decide if the beggar would be sent to the remand home or let off with a warning.

“The department has formed 10 teams which will carry out the drive across Delhi. This is a pilot project and would go on for 10-12 days. Currently, one team conducts a raid in the city every day. The raiding will be intensified with the formation of the new teams,” said an official, RCC.

The beggars, if convicted, are sent to the home in Lampur. Currently, the Lampur beggar home has one inmate.

“The objective of a drive should not be to round up people and put destitutes in the beggar homes. The government should first ensure there is a rehabilitation plan in place. The destitute people should be rehabilitated in a way that they do not return to begging. If the objective of the drive is to pick the poor people up to clean up the streets, then the root cause of why begging exists would not be solved,” said Mohammed Tarique, director of Koshish, an NGO that addresses beggary, destitution and homeless.

Currently, rehabilitation programmes are missing. Destitutes sent to the home have no activities to engage in. They also find it difficult to return to the mainstream society.

The raiding exercise should be carried out only after the department has skill-based training lessons in place, said Tarique. 

Community-based approach in which specific communities like snake charmers, transgenders are given training in plumbing, carpentry, welding can rehabilitate the destitutes, said social workers. 

“The rehabilitation plans are not in place yet. The department is planning to introduce community-based rehabilitation so that these communities do not go back to begging. Without a rehabilitation programme, the raiding exercise may not yield any results,” said a senior official, Social Welfare Department.
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