The upcoming Commonwealth Games has pushed the Delhi government to undertake measures to stop the begging menace in the Capital.
In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, the government said on Thursday it has set up biometric machines at Sewa Kutir to identify repeat offenders and consolidate records.
Sewa Kutir is a special home for beggars, picked up from the streets and lodged there, till they are released. The Sheila Dikshit government’s promise to tackle the menace includes setting up of a special control room that would enable citizens to lodge complaints or suggestions about beggars.
Additional sessions judge Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the government, said 13 anti-begging teams have been constituted to round up beggars. Some areas have been declared ‘zero tolerance zones’, he said.
As a part of its beggar rehabilitation programme, the government is imparting vocational training in accordance with the inmates’ abilities and health.
The government also claimed that efforts were made to improve and expand medical care services to the beggars.
The Delhi government has collaborated with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to provide services to beggar inmates such as counselling and psycho-social support, training and capacity building.
Temple committees, Gurudwara Prabandhak committees and Railway authorities have been requested to help in the anti-begging campaign.
The affidavit, filed in response to a public interest litigation by advocate Indra Sawhney, said exclusive mobile courts are also operating for expeditious disposal of cases related to apprehended beggars.
Delhi social welfare minister Mangat Ram Singhal said they are working on modalities to set up a call centre to provide counselling and psychosocial support to beggar inmates and expanding medical services for them.
“We are preparing estimates on how much money would be needed to provide these facilities and manpower required for the call centre,” Singhal said.
(inputs from Atul Mathur)