The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment working with major Municipal Corporations has arranged for feeding of more than 1.27 crore destitute, beggars and homeless persons since lockdown started on April 10, 2020. The
Ministry, in a project, had already selected ten 10 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna and Indore for implementing a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of begging which would cover identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, Counseling, education, skill development with the support of State Governments, Union Territories, Local Urban Bodies and Voluntary Organizations, and institutions etc. A 100% assistance under the Scheme shall be provided to the States for its implementation.
In the current circumstances facing the Country in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, and the resulting lockdown all over the country, it was feared that many people currently engaged in begging, vagrants would be facing serious difficulties resulting in starvation. In view of this, Municipal Corporations of ten cities were instructed in the wake of lockdown to set up feeding centres for providing free cooked food for the persons engaged in beggary and vagrants with immediate effect.
The Ministry is also of the view that this arrangement would help in the identification of the persons who could be brought under the comprehensive national project in the future.