Child beggars back, Operation Muskaan is only for record-keeping
HYDERABAD: Children are back on the streets seeking alms, either controlled by the mafia, pushed by poverty or coerced by parents. The women development and child welfare department's (WD&CW) safety wing gave the impression that the children were rescued, but in reality, they were always present, shifting location from one key traffic signal point to another.
According to sources from the safety wing, the officials permit the children to seek alms at different locations. This is done so that they can then rescue them and show the success of Operation Muskaan.
While the police, the WD&CW department safety wing and other departments are expected to collaborate to end child begging, none of them do, claimed sources. If they receive more handouts from specific traffic signals or other strategic locations, many juveniles make that location their permanent home for either months or even years.
"After we rescue a child, the parents create an immense fuss, threaten that they would killing themselves and lay down on the road and the child is returned to them. This cycle will continue until the departments take rigorous action, which we do not see," said a team member involved in the rescue operation of children under Op. Muskaan.
Operation Muskaan takes place every year, in January and June. With June two and a half months away, the children can be seen again seeking alms on the streets from where will be rescued, and the same is documented for record’s sake. They will return to the streets in July, according to the rescue team member. "We are helpless. We want to act, but there is no government support. We want to rescue children, but there isn't enough space in our centres to accommodate them," he explained.
Deccan Chronicle spoke to the children and their families. They all gave the same response, claiming that traffic signals were where they made the most money and where they would remain. The children claimed that they only follow the instructions given to them to wipe the windows of cars and seek alms. They mostly belong to Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.