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Government Aims to Make 30 Key Cities Beggary-Free

Published: 2nd Feb, 2024


The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has outlined a plan to make 30 significant cities, spanning from Ayodhya to Guwahati, Trimbakeshwar to Thiruvananthapuram, beggary-free by 2026.

Initiative: This comprehensive effort under the 'Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprises' (SMILE) scheme targets the survey and rehabilitation of individuals engaged in begging, particularly women and children.


  • The SMILE scheme, launched on February 12, 2022, allocates Rs. 365 Crore from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • It encompasses two sub-schemes aimed at providing welfare and rehabilitation for the transgender community and individuals engaged in begging.

Survey and Rehabilitation Initiative

  • The government has selected 30 cities, including Ayodhya, Guwahati, Trimbakeshwar, and Thiruvananthapuram, for focused efforts to eradicate beggary.
  • This initiative aligns with the national goal of achieving a 'Bhiksha Vritti Mukt Bharat.'
  • The ministry plans to support district and municipal authorities in identifying beggary 'hotspots' through uniform survey and rehab guidelines.
  • The goal is to create a national portal and mobile app by mid-February, ensuring real-time updates on identified individuals engaged in begging.
  • Out of the 30 cities, 25 have submitted action plans, while consent is awaited from Kangra, Cuttack, Udaipur, and Kushinagar.
  • Notably, Sanchi reported no individuals engaged in begging, prompting consideration for a different city.
  • Kozhikode, Vijayawada, Madurai, and Mysuru have already completed their surveys.

SMILE Scheme: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise

  • The SMILE scheme primarily targets the welfare and rehabilitation of the transgender community and individuals engaged in begging.

Benefits of the Scheme:

- Scholarships: Transgender students from IX to post-graduation receive scholarships to support their education.

- Skill Development: The scheme incorporates skill development and livelihood opportunities under the PM-DAKSH scheme.

- Health Support: Comprehensive medical health packages, in collaboration with PM-JAY, include support for gender-affirmation surgeries.

- Housing Facility: 'Garima Greh' ensures food, clothing, recreation, skill development, and medical support for the transgender community and individuals engaged in begging.

- Transgender Protection Cell: Each state will establish a protection cell to monitor and address offenses promptly.

- National Portal & Helpline: Providing necessary information and solutions to beneficiaries when needed.

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Sub-Scheme:

Focusing on survey, identification, mobilization, rescue/shelter home, and comprehensive resettlement, this sub-scheme aims to address the root causes of beggary and reintegrate individuals into mainstream society.

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