It is a common sight in India to see the begging mafia employ women and children to beg alms at busy junctions in the city. Now, the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) along with the Women and Child Welfare has decided to put an end to the practice. They have launched a drive to rescue the destitute children employed and accommodate them in rehab centres.
Surprise checks are now being conducted at city junctions as part of the drive. The officials have gone on to identify 15 families that have migrated here from Rajamahendravaram, Vizianagaram and other places to settle here. Those who operate alone, while the male members of these families sell knick-knacks, the women along with their children beg on the roads. Syrups and medicines are administered to the babies to keep them asleep while these women beg.
In recent times, two women and their babies have been rescued. They also rescued a 4 month old baby who was suffering due to the severe heat. While there have been cases where babies were hired, the certificates of these babies were checked to ensure they belonged to the mothers. Counselling sessions are reportedly held to help change the way of living of these people. The officials also insist on the parents to hand in a written letter stating they will not repeat the same again.
Most beggars were found at Satyam Junction, NAD, RTC Complex and Maddilapalem. Many motorists have also taken the initiative to call Childline numbers to complain about the practice. The DCPU has planned to interact with the begging community to suggest them alternative livelihoods. Their target is to curb the issue of mothers begging with children in the next three months. In a bid to do that, welfare schemes are being provided to the children that are rehabilitated. In cases where the mother fails to provide proper care to the child, the child will be linked to anganwadi centres for a proper diet.