P Srinivasan I [email protected]
Rajasthan will soon become free of beggars. Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation and Sopan Institute of Science, Technology and Management jointly have started imparting skill development to beggars hailing from different States.
Tulsiram, a resident of Andhra Pradesh said, “I came to Rajasthan 12 years ago for a mechanical job in Jodhpur. However, I was so fed up with my family tensions that I gave up my job and then was working as a labourer and begging on the streets of Jaipur. Now, I am learning computers and want to earn a decent livelihood, after which I shall return to my family.”
Similarly, Rajendra Kumar from Maharashtra came here to get medical treatment and has been working as a labourer for the last 16 years. After the police survey, he was taken to this centre to impart skills that will provide opportunities to earn. He plans to go back to Nagpur once he stands up on my own feet.
In its effort to uplift the deprived and neglected sections of society, Rajasthan Government is also extending a second opportunity to those to have given in to begging. A social taboo, the practice is also difficult to get over for those to have stepped to the low trade. The Rajasthan Government through the RSLDC has launched a program to skill those willing to overcome the situation. Two batches of more than 30 such volunteers have recently commenced at one of the RSLDC training sites in Jaipur. These are first of more than 1000 such willing participants enlisted by the RSLDC with help of the state home department.
Many of those shortlisted even hold basic education and have done stray jobs, however, went for begging due to a series of failures and disappointments. As it builds upon a habit and altered personality, these people are unable to make a return to the mainstream jobs. The state government while trying to skill them for employment related trades is also working to restore their confidence and willingness to work.
RSLDC chairman Niraj K Pawan said that chief minister Ashok Gehlot wanted to make the state free of beggars and rehabilitate them. The RLSDC along with the Rajasthan Police conducted a survey on beggars in Jaipur. These beggars in batches are being trained in skill at ‘Kaushal Vardhan Kendra’.
He further added that once they complete the training, they will be provided jobs. Once this programme becomes successful, it will be started in other districts of the State.
The process commenced with an image makeover, the participants were given a haircut, motivated to wash and also provided with new clothes as they checked in for the course, Pawan added.
As per the information the beggars are made to wake up at 5am, served tea at 7am followed by breakfast at 8 am. They also undergo yoga sessions for an hour.
The initiative is a part of the Chief Minister’s BHOR scheme – Bhikshu Orientation and Rehabilitation for poor and homeless people. Under this campaign, the beggars will be imparted skill training by keeping them for three and a half months.
It is to be mentioned that the police department with RSLCD conducted a survey to make Jaipur city free of beggars by imparting them skill training. The survey identified 1162 beggars in the Pink City and they expressed their interest to quit begging and were willing to earn with dignity, if they got an opportunity. More than 200 beggars were literate, while others were illiterate.
Many beggars told that they did not want to beg, but were forced to beg as they did not have any other work to do. A few of them wanted to study.