Alms & the man: Beggars in temple town to be rahabilitated to rid Varanasi of menace

  • | Tuesday | 5th December, 2023

Varanasi: Beggars Corporation, a profit company that turns beggars into entrepreneurs, has launched a 100-day citizen awareness campaign aimed at making Varanasi the first Indian city to be free of beggars by March 2027. The functional idea of the organisation is to encourage people not to donate to the beggars, but to send them to the corporation to work and earn with dignity.Talking to reporters on Monday, Chandra Mishra, the founder of the organisation, said that their motto is Dont donate, invest. Thus, the organisation is not an NGO as it neither accepts, nor gives donations. It is a unique profit-with-purpose company recognized as a social impact startup by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India, and awarded Best Social Impact award in the Global Innopreneur Contest Season-9 in April 2023. Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, executive director of IMF and former chief economic advisor to Govt of India, termed it as first of its kind in the world. Subramanian said that according to a company survey, Varanasi has around 6,000 beggars, out of which, 1400 are children. The corporation targets able-bodied beggars belonging to the age group of 18-40 living with family or children. Starting with 50 beggar families in April 2024, it will provide sustainable alternatives to 800-1000 beggar families in six stages in next three years. Till date, the company has freed uplifted 17 beggar families from the begging trap and these families are now engaged in different trades and earning with dignity. There have also been instances where the beggars earned Rs. 12,000 per month during three-month entrepreneurship training. Not only this, the company is signing a three-years contract with the beggars to provide them minimum livelihood support at Rs. 10,000 per month and Rs. one lakh after three years. This is a unique example where beggars get share in the companies and minimum Rs. 4.6 lac in three years, Subramanian said.Mishra said that since begging is a by-product of the public sentiment for daan, the firm has declared a reward of Rs. 1000 those who motivate and bring a beggar to work. It also encourages people to give it their old clothes which are recycled by the beggars to produce eco-friendly cotton bags of beautiful patchwork, which theyre paid for. Its customers include national industry associations and others.Mishra requested the government, especially the district administration, to conduct a proper survey, verification and motivation programme to identify beggars in Varanasi and issue them identity cards, which will help the administration in curbing rackets like begging, drug peddling, organ trade, child and women trafficking and crime syndicates operating from the ghats. While the Beggars Corporation will take care of those who want to work, the administration should take care of the child beggars, the old, sick and disabled under its different welfare schemes. To bring beggars to the mainstream, the administration must include them in AADHAR, BPL , health cards for free treatment, schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Right To Education and loan for alternative livelihood.He shared that the corporation is also preparing to approach the SC for formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Govt of India, state govt and the Beggars Corporation to operate a pilot model of a begging-free society in Varanasi. Once it succeeds, it can be replicated in other cities too.

If You Like This Story, Support NYOOOZ



Your support to NYOOOZ will help us to continue create and publish news for and from smaller cities, which also need equal voice as much as citizens living in bigger cities have through mainstream media organizations.

Stay updated with all the Varanasi Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles