- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme called SMILE (Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) which would extensively work on the welfare of beggars, which includes sub-scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
- This scheme covers several comprehensive measures including welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging. The focus of the scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on. The scheme would be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), institutions and others. A total of Rs 182 crore has been allocated under the scheme.
Key highlights of the scheme:
- The scheme, SMILE, aims to support marginalized individuals engaged in the act of begging and will include a sub-scheme aiming to rehabilitate beggars.
- The scheme takes the parameters of rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on into consideration.
- The pilot project has been initiated in 10 cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmadabad.
- Under the scheme, the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for relocation of the persons engaged in the act of Begging will be utilised. In case of non-availability of shelter homes, new dedicated places for those people will be set up by given authorities.