New Delhi : In the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, has identified 75 Municipal Corporations to implement comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of begging under “SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” named as “SMILE-75 Initiative”.
The “SMILE-75 Initiative” will be launched by Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar in presence of Shri A. Narayanaswamy, Hon’ble Minister of State (SJ&E) on 12.08.2022 at 02:00 PM at a Shelter Home (Rain Basera) near Nizammudin Metro Station in New Delhi. The identified 75 Municipal Corporations, experts from the field of beggary and eminent NGOs will participate in this nationwide launch through online and offline mode.
Under the SMILE-75 initiative, seventy five (75) Municipal Corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders willcover 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 of Social Justice & Empowerment has allocated a total budget of Rs.100 crore for the SMILE project for coming years till 2025-26.Through this project, the Ministry envisions to develop a support mechanism for holistic rehabilitation of those engaged in the act of begging and build an India where no person is forced to beg in order to survive and fulfill their basic needs.
The objective of SMILE- 75 is to make our cities/town and municipal areas begging-free and make a strategy for comprehensive rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of begging through the coordinated action of various stakeholders. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment understands the important role of Local Urban Bodies, Civil Society Organisations/Non-Government Organisations to address this persisting social issue with concerted efforts.
The Government of India hasrecognised the persisting problemof destitution and beggary and formulated a comprehensive scheme of SMILE (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) which includes a sub-scheme ofcomprehensive rehabilitation for persons engaged in begging which covers identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, and education, skill development for decent job and self-employment / entrepreneurship.