Law to punish families of elderly who are forced to beg mooted

The Central Relief Committee (CRC) will construct beggars' rehabilitation centres in all 30 districts of the State on priority, committee chairman K.A. Ramalingappa has said.

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Ramalingappa said only 14 of the 30 districts now have rehabilitation centres. There was a need for such centres in all districts, he said, and added that rehabilitation programmes were not being implemented everywhere owing to the lack of these centres.

Cess due

Besides, local administrative bodies had not paid arrears to the CRC, which they have collected as beggary cess, the CRC chairman said. The Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) also had to pay Rs. 2.43 crore, he pointed out.

The money collected as beggary cess had been diverted to other development works, he alleged. Notices had been issued to all local administrative bodies and the district administrations asking for payment of arrears.

Sensitisation workshops would be conducted for officials so that better service is made available to beggars at the centres, he said.

For the elderly

Mr. Ramalingappa noted that many persons from economically strong families, especially the elderly, were forced to beg as they were neglected by their families in their old age. The CRC would recommend to the State Government to bring in a law to punish the children of senior citizens forced to beg, he said.

Appreciation

The Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre, Dharwad, came in for appreciation from Mr. Ramalingappa.

It was commendable that the residents there were not only being offered rehabilitation, but also being trained in vocational activities, including manufacturing stationery, he said.

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