The police department, NGOs, the social welfare department and juvenile justice wing officials should come together to stop beggary. We had in fact started a campaign to rescue minors from begging known as ‘Operation Smile’ in 2015.
During my stint in the city, I was taken aback when I noticed infants sleeping in womens’ arms, while they were begging. The infants were being used as a means to gain sympathy of people, who would give them a few bucks. I knew there was something else behind the entire act and started Operation Smile.
People who are into begging can be classified into three categories-the elderly who are abandoned by their family members or beg due to poverty, people who do not want to work and find begging an easy way to earn money and thirdly, minors, who are forced by their parents to beg. Among them, the police needs to take strict action against people who do not want to work and go into begging, by invoking stringent sections under the IPC. These people can find employment but chose the easy way out. On the other hand, minors are vulnerable to beggary, as their parents, who might be alcoholics and do not go to work, send their kids to beg and get easy money. Again, these children should be rehabilitated and counseled to ensure they do not go back to begging.
To stop begging, a detailed study should be carried out to analyse the reasons why people indulge in it. As far as my knowledge goes, there is no such study available. The government should facilitate such a study, analyse it and then chalk out a uniform code of rules and policies which can be implemented. Only proper research can help implement policies and rules, until then it is a bit too difficult to curb begging in the city....