In a country where 60% of the population is below the poverty line, begging is by choice a means for survival for many. But begging on Indian streets has been a criminal act with a punishment of jail time and a fine. However, in February, Supreme Court decided to decriminalise begging as it tends to make people choose between “committing a crime” and “starving” which violates the ‘Right To Life’ – Article 21 in the Indian Constitution.
To help beggars lead a more respectable life, the Rajasthan Government has taken a remarkable move and has decided to train beggars in various life skills like cooking, plumbing, etc. so that they can be employed. It is also the first state to do so.
According to National Herald, in a new programme called ‘Bhor’, the Rajasthan government aims to “bring a new dawn by motivating families dependent on begging to acquire various life skills”.
For now, 100 able-bodied beggars between the age of 30-35 have been chosen to undergo a 4-month long special training. They were first bathed, cleaned, and made physically fit for training.
They were given uniforms to wear and were made to work on building their physical stamina by doing yoga or playing football. After this, some were taught cooking while others were trained to become confectioners, electricians, plumbers and security guards.
Tulsiram and Raghunath from Jaipur are two people who have benefited from this initiative. Both had resorted to begging after they couldn’t find jobs. However, now, the two and seven others are all set to start a food business by setting up an outlet, reports Outlook India.
The government also plans to start a similar program for women too.
Isn’t this initiative amazing? More cities should take such steps!