‘Give socio-cultural training to beggars’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/give-sociocultural-training-to-beggars/

‘Give socio-cultural training to beggars’

Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath has written a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram....

Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath has written a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram suggesting “behavioural training” and “socio-cultural therapies” for beggars. “A rapid study can be conducted on the behavioural pattern by the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences,” she says in her letter written a few days back. According to Tirath,behavioural pattern of the beggars should be studied to see why and how they get into “this social evil”.

Tirath has said though it is the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment that should have taken up the matter,she has intervened as most of the beggars are either women or children. “There should be some scheme,like some kind of a vocational training being provided to them,so that they can earn their livelihood. I have personally written to the Home Minister as I have come to know that police have been mercilessly and mindlessly driving them out from one district to another,” she told The Indian Express.

Expressing her desire to help in the matter,she says in her letter: “Dragging women and children is a cruel act and I am concerned about human rights,protection of women and children who live on the street.”

The minister has also proposed that her ministry can constitute a group of NGOs to monitor and support anti-begging operations in a humanitarian manner. “Only a team of police and magistrates cannot be an answer to the critical issue. The NGOs running shelters for women and children may be requested to set up special cells,correctional homes,” she says.

Observing that the Commonwealth Games could be the reason for the police on being harsh on beggars,she has suggested police sensitisation programmes on anti-begging operations. “They (beggars) do not have anything,it is therefore necessary to provide some facilities for them rather than shooing them from one place to another. I have also written to the Lt Governor of Delhi to intervene.”

Earlier,in April,child begging had caught the attention of National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which had proposed to educate child beggars so that they can earn their living through other means.

According to a recent study by the Delhi’s Department of Social Welfare,most of the beggars are children. The study suggests that many have fled abusive homes in far away villages while others have been brought to the city by their parents.

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The NCPCR has called for a consolidated data of child beggars from all states so that exact causes could be ascertained. Studies show that the menace is severe in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.