Hyderabad: Hyderabad is among the 10 cities selected for the Centre's project to rehabilitate beggars in the city. As part of the project, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has come up with a comprehensive action plan for the project.

As part of the project, a survey will be conducted with the help of the police department and city-based NGOs to classify the beggars in the city. Providing medical care to beggars with chronic medical illness, need-based assessment in terms of career counselling, and skill training are also part of the project. It will also establish at least one rehabilitation home in each zone for the mentally unsound.

According to the registrar general of India (RGI), there are 4,13,670 beggars and vagrants in the country as per the 2011 Census.

Shankara Narayana, general secretary of Forum for Rehabilitation of Beggars, said, “In order to eradicate begging in the city the NGOs who are working in the field and offering shelters need government support. Several NGOs had to shut down because of the paucity of funds from government or communities.”

Detailing the difficulties in running homes for the abandoned, George, secretary of Good Samaritan, said, “We need to link medical facilities, psychiatric care, provision of sustainable employment opportunities for the persons liberated from begging.”

Between 2017 and 2019, the Centre has released Rs. 1.5 crore to National Backward Classes Financial Development Corporation for skill development training for beggars. During fiscal 2019-2020, Rs. 1 crore was released to the National Institute of Social Defense for empowerment and rehabilitation of beggars under an integrated programme for the rehabilitation of beggars.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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