Gujarat government launches drive to rehabilitate beggars in eight cities



AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Thursday kicked off a drive to rehabilitate beggars and destitute people in eight major cities of the state.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Manisha Vakil held a meeting with stakeholders for effective implementation of the drive that began from Vadodara, an official said.

The administration has swung into action days after state BJP president CR Paatil reprimanded Vadodara Mayor Keyur Rokadia for the slow pace in resolving the issue of stray cattle and beggars in the city.

Vakil, who is an MLA from Vadodara city, convened a meeting of the city police commissioner, municipal commissioner, mayor and officials of the Social Justice and Empowerment department to find a long-term solution for beggars on city roads.

“We are launching this drive to rehabilitate beggars from Vadodara. Our aim is to cover all eight major cities of Gujarat., we have to identify beggars and bring them to shelter homes. Shelter homes will have to take care of them till they become capable of starting a new life and stand on their feet,” Vakil told reporters.

Beggars and destitute persons will be given skill-based training, which will help them earn their livelihood, the minister said, adding that they will also be provided assistance in buying a home under government schemes.

Beggars and destitute people will be given a unique identification number, linked with their Aadhaar cards, so that they can be identified and sent back to their hometowns if they are caught begging again, Vakil said.

While addressing a gathering in Vadodara earlier this week, Paatil had expressed dissatisfaction about stray cattle and beggars roaming on city roads.

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