Centre to give shelter, healthcare to beggars

New Delhi: The Centre is considering a scheme to provide shelter, health care and skill development training to the homeless and destitutes to address the problem of beggary.

Through the scheme prepared by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, the government is aiming at providing a whole range of basic services like food, shelter, health care, counselling and rehabilitation to destitutes.

“Under the scheme, skill development training will be provided to the able-bodied destitutes so as to facilitate their reintegration into the mainstream society so that they may live a life with dignity.

“It will also encourage innovative interventions to strengthen the community-based approach towards rehabilitation of destitutes with sensitisation programmes etc,” said a senior government official.

The problem of destitution and beggary is becoming a major concern warranting urgent attention and intervention in view of the increasing numbers, especially of children and women, the official said.

In order to enhance transparency and accountability in the implementation of the scheme, the details of every beneficiary would be maintained in a computerised database and linked with their Aadhaar number in due course of time. According to a poverty estimation study by Oxford University, UK, India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after strife-torn Afghanistan.

According to the 2011 Census, population of beggars is about 4.13 lakh which includes 3.72 lakh persons under non-workers category and about 41,400 under marginal workers category.