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SMILE Scheme

  • 21 Jul 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated a scheme “SMILE - Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”.

  • It includes a subscheme - Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in Begging’.

Key Points

  • About:
    • It is a new Scheme after the merger of existing Schemes for Beggars and Transgenders.
    • Scheme provides for the use of the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of Begging.
      • In case of non-availability of existing shelter homes, new dedicated shelter homes are to be set up by the implementing agencies.
  • Focus:
    • The focus of the scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on.
    • It is estimated that an approximate 60,000 poorest persons would be benefited under this scheme for leading a life of dignity.
  • Implementation:
    • It will be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) , institutions and others.
  • Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Beggars:
    • It will be a comprehensive scheme for persons engaged in the act of begging.
    • The scheme has been implemented in the selected cities on pilot basis having large concentrations of the Beggar community.
    • During the year 2019-20, this Ministry had released an amount of Rs. 1 Crore to National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) and Rs. 70 Lakh to National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC) for skill development programmes for beggars.
  • Status of Beggars In India:
    • According to the Census 2011 ,total number of beggars in India is 4,13,670 (including 2,21,673 males and 1,91,997 females) and the number has increased from the last census.
    • West Bengal tops the chart followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at number two and three respectively. Lakshadweep merely has two vagrants according to the 2011 census.
    • Among the union territories, New Delhi had the largest number of beggars 2,187 followed by 121 in Chandigarh.
    • Among the northeastern states, Asam topped the chart with 22,116 beggars, while Mizoram ranked low with 53 beggars.
    • Recently, the Supreme Court has agreed to examine a plea for decriminalising begging which has been made an offence in various states under Prevention of Begging Act.

National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation

  • NBCFDC is a Government of India Undertaking under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It was incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 on 13th January 1992 as a Company not for profit.
  • Its objective is to promote economic and developmental activities for the benefit of Backward Classes and to assist the poorer section of these classes in skill development and self-employment ventures.

National Institute of Social Defence

  • The NISD is an Autonomous Body and is registered under Societies Act XXI of 1860 with the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT), Delhi.
  • It is a central advisory body for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It is the nodal training and research institute in the field of social defence.
  • The institute currently focuses on human resource development in the areas of drug abuse prevention, welfare of senior citizens, beggary prevention, transgender and other social defence issues.
  • The mandate of the institute is to provide inputs for the social defence programmes of the Government of India through training, research & documentation.

Source: PIB

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