Rehabilitation centres to come up exclusively for women residents

The Central Relief Committee of the Social Welfare Department will soon set up rehabilitation centres exclusively for women beggars at divisional levels in the State, said E. Venkataiah, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department on Tuesday.

Speaking after inaugurating a State-level workshop on beggar census organised at the Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre here, Mr. Venkataiah said the government has already given administrative approval for opening these centres. They have been planned to protect women residents at the rehabilitation centres from possible exploitation by the male residents.

Committee Chairperson K.A. Ramalingappa told The Hindu that the centres should come up before the end of the year in Chitradurga, Shimoga, Belgaum and Mysore.

More to come

Besides these, the committee is also planning to establish additional beggars' rehabilitation centres at all the headquarters. “We have already written to the deputy commissioners concerned to identify suitable land for the purpose,” Mr. Ramalingappa said.

Gadgets for census

Speaking about the census, Mr. Venkataiah said the enumerators would follow biometric and hidden camera method that was followed in Bangalore city, to conduct the census in the State. More often, beggars do not cooperate with the authorities, so suitable safety measures have to be taken, he said.

Mr. Ramalingappa said the beggar census conducted in Bangalore in November had pegged their numbers at about 9,000. However, the numbers might come down after eliminating duplicate entries, which is being taken up by experts of Bangalore University. The figures will be announced after March 26, he said.

Mr. Venkataiah said beggars from Karnataka constitute only 30 per cent of their population as the majority of beggars in Bangalore are from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Planning

Mr. Ramalingappa said the census would help the committee and the government make proper plans for their rehabilitation, and other programmes.

“This would enable us to prepare the budget, make provisions for food, accommodation and training. Also, it would help us to determine the number of personnel required to manage the centres,” he said.

Social Welfare Commissioner Naveen Raj Singh, D. Devraj Urs Backward Classes Welfare Corporation Managing Director Ramaiah, Committee Secretary R.N. Raja Naik and member-secretaries of 14 rehabilitation centres across the State were present at the workshop.

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