Cuttack In Odisha Among 30 Cities In Centre’s ‘Beggar-Free By ’26’ Plan

New Delhi: The Centre has identified 30 cities, including Cuttack in Odisha, for survey and rehabilitation of adults, particularly women and children, engaged in begging.

The other places of significance (religious, historical or tourism perspective) include Ayodhya, Guwahati, Trimbakeshwar and Thiruvananthapuram.

The Objective: Support district and municipal authorities in identifying ‘hotspots’ in these cities and making them free of beggars by 2026 through survey, mobilisation, rescue and relocation to a shelter & comprehensive rehabilitation through education, skill development and employment for re-integration with the mainstream.

This outreach will be implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under a sub-scheme of ‘Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprises’ (SMILE), the TOI reported.

The report further said that the Ministry is yet to receive an action plan from Cuttack, Kangra, Udaipur, and Kushinagar on basis of which it will release funds to the implementing district and municipal authorities.

A national portal and a mobile app for real time updation of data on those identified to be engaged in begging will be launched by mid-Feb to monitor the survey and rehab process and deliver on the goal of ‘Bhiksha-Vritti Mukt Bharat’ (beggary-free India).

More cities are likely to be added to this list over these two years, the report added.

In December 2021, the Odisha government had identified 6,970 beggars across the state and Cuttack district topped the list with 1,060. The government is also implementing a scheme called Sahaya for their welfare. The Cuttack Municipal Corporation had also planned for settlement of beggars in the district under ‘Beggar Home’ initiative.

In 2017, the Cuttack administration had also launched a programme for identification and rehabilitation of people living on alms.

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