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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Work and earn: Lucknow has a plan for beggars

The City of Nawabs could soon be free of beggars with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has decided to engage physically-fit mendicants as daily-wage workers, or finding work for them.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2019 08:37 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Image for representation
Image for representation(Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times photo)
         

The City of Nawabs could soon be free of beggars with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has decided to engage physically-fit mendicants as daily-wage workers, or finding work for them. The administration is serious enough about the plan to even consider legal remedies against physically capable beggars who refuse to work.

A month-long survey commissioned by Indramani Tripathi, municipal commissioner, Lucknow, has found around 4,500 beggars and, in the first-phase of the plan, 45 will be given work.

“Most are physically fit to work, but they don’t, as they are used to getting easy money,” said Tripathi .

In the next round, another 45 will be employed by an NGO.

“We are in talks with NGOs who will employ them in cleaning and waste collection work. The idea is to get them work, and also make the city free from a social evil like begging. They bring a bad name to the city, which is fast emerging as a tourist hub,” Tripathi said.

Those who don’t take up the work offered may find themselves on the wrong side of the law, with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation seeking legal opinion on whether they can be booked, and under which law.

“In Mumbai there is a law under which begging has been declared illegal. We don’t have such a law here but we are taking legal opinion from the state government. We are exploring sections of the Indian Penal Code, under which we can lodge FIR against those who continue begging,” said Tripathi.

Lawyer Prashant Kumar says , “ Presently FIR cannot be lodged against the beggars in Lucknow because begging on streets is not a crime.There is no such law under which the beggars can be booked . But FIR could be lodged against the mafias who force anyone to begging.”

“Some of the beggars who can read and write will be employed in other works like revenue collection,” said the LMC boss.

First Published: Jun 28, 2019 23:45 IST

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