Social Justice Ministry launches SMILE-75 initiative 

Project aims to make 75 municipalities ‘begging-free’

August 12, 2022 08:54 pm | Updated 08:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Friday launched the ‘SMILE-75’ initiative for comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging in 75 identified municipalities as a part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence, a Ministry statement said.

The initiative is part of the Ministry’s ongoing SMILE project (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) for which ₹100 crore has been allocated till 2025-2026.

“Under the SMILE-75 initiative, 75 municipal corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other government welfare programmes etc.,” the Ministry said.

It added that among the aims of the initiative, which was launched by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar, was to make the 75 municipalities “begging-free”.

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