SMILE-75 Initiative

Under the Smile-75 initiative, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has marked 75 Municipal Corporations for comprehensive rehabilitation of person practicing the act of bagging. This initiative has been started as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Important facts related to SMILE-75 Initiative include;

  • SMILE stands for “Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”.
  • 75 Municipal Corporations, experts associated with the field of beggary and NGOs will take part in nationwide launch in online and offline mode.
  • As a part of the initiative, identified Municipal Corporations will cover several comprehensive welfare measures in association with NGOs and other stakeholders, for persons engaged in the act of begging.
  • They will focus on rehabilitation, counselling, education, awareness, provision of medical facilities, skill development and economic linkages with other Government welfare initiatives.
  • Initiative has been started with the objective of making cities/town and municipal areas free of begging and make strategy of rehabilitation process.

To implement the scheme till year 2025-26, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has allocated Rs.100 crores. Local Urban Bodies, Civil Society Organisations or Non-Government Organisations plays significant role in addressing the act of begging with concerted efforts. In India, Begging is a criminal act in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, in accordance with Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, BPBA (1959). Under the act, officials from Social Welfare Department conduct raids, in association with Police and pick up beggars. Later, they are tries in special courts called ‘beggar courts’.

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