National Initiative to Rehabilitate Beggars at Religious, Historical and Tourist Sites

The central government has identified 30 cities of religious, historical, and tourism significance across India for survey and rehabilitation of adults and children engaged in begging. The goal is to make these spaces free of beggary by 2026. More cities may be added over the next two years.

Central Scheme to Rehabilitate Beggars

This outreach in 30 cities is being implemented under the “Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprises” (SMILE) scheme by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. A national portal and mobile app will be launched to ensure uniform guidelines are followed for survey and rehabilitation. It will enable real-time tracking of progress in providing shelters, skills, education etc to those who beg.

SMILE Scheme

SMILE scheme launched in February 2022 with allocation of Rs. 365 crores from 2021-22 to 2025-26

Beneficiaries: Transgender community and people engaged in begging

Key benefits:

  • Scholarships for transgender students
  • Skill development and livelihood opportunities
  • Gender-affirmation surgeries
  • Housing facilities through ‘Garima Greh’
  • Transgender protection cells in states
  • National portal and helpline
  • Survey, mobilization, rescue, shelter homes and rehabilitation of beggars

The scheme aims to provide comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation measures to the transgender community and people engaged in begging through various interventions like education, skilling, health, protection and mainstreaming.

Identified Destinations for Beggar Rehabilitation

The 10 religious destinations identified include Ayodhya, Kangra, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Somnath etc. Along with the city administration, religious trusts and boards of shrines will also be involved in rehabilitating beggars found in these areas.

Beggar rehabilitation will also be focused in popular tourism spots like Kevadia, Srinagar, Puducherry etc and historical cities such as Amritsar, Udaipur, Warangal etc. Survey reports and rehabilitation plans have been received from most cities, barring a few.

Survey to Understand Reasons and Rehabilitation Needs

Surveys aim to understand causes of begging and requirements for rehabilitation through education, skills, jobs etc. Funds are provided by the central government based on city action plans. The roadmap encompasses survey, rescue, temporary shelters and comprehensive rehabilitation for mainstream integration.



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