The government has drafted a Bill that seeks to decriminalise beggary and offer a life of dignity to the beggars, homeless and others who live in poverty or abandonment.
Begging is currently a crime under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959. Under the Act, a person found begging can be sent to a shelter home or even jail without trial. The draft ‘The persons in destitution (protection, care and rehabilitation) Bill 2015’ looks at the issue as a social menace.
In the Bill, ‘destitution’ refers to a state of poverty or abandonment, arising from economic or social deprivation and ‘persons in destitution’ include the homeless, beggars, people with physical and mental disabilities, the old and infirm. — PTI