Why in news?
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Friay launched the ‘SMILE-75’ initiative for comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging in 75 identified municipalities as a part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence
- The initiative is part of the Ministry’s ongoing SMILE project (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) for which ₹100 crore has been allocated till 2025-2026.
- “Under the SMILE-75 initiative, 75 municipal corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other government welfare programmes etc
The aims of the initiative
- To make the 75 municipalities “begging-free”.
About SMILE scheme:
- It is a new Scheme after the merger of existing Schemes for Beggars and Transgenders.
- Scheme provides for the use of the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of Begging.
- In case of non-availability of existing shelter homes, new dedicated shelter homes are to be set up by the implementing agencies.
- The focus of the scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on.
- It is estimated that an approximate 60,000 poorest persons would be benefited under this scheme for leading a life of dignity.
It will be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) , institutions and others.