Friday, June 21, 2024

Survey on city beggars during Ramzan

Govt has allotted Tk 240 for counting a beggar
The government has scaled down its nationwide survey on beggars to counting only 10,000 subjects in the capital this holy month of Ramzan. A large number of them descend on the city around this time. “The government has allotted Tk. 240 for counting a beggar, which would include interviewing and photographing the subject,” said a source in the Beggars Cell under the ministry of social welfare.
The Beggars Cell chief, Gazi Muhammad Julhash, also joint secretary in the social welfare ministry, told The Independent on Thursday: “To rehabilitate the beggars and offer them a better living, the government is going to conduct the survey in the capital, which might be expanded in future.”
Ten NGOs have been selected to conduct the survey with each interviewing 1,000 beggars. And the NGOs are: BEDO, Aparajeyo Bangladesh, Jonasheba Kendra, Somaj Kollayan O Unnayan Sangstha, Hitaishy Bangladesh, ARS Bangladesh, Association for Renovation of Community Health Education Service, Country Vision, National Development Society and BRCT. These NGOs will conduct the one-day survey in association with their partner organizations.
Post-survey, the government will rehabilitate 2,000 beggars in various shelters and old age homes and provide the able-bodied vocational and technical training, said Beggars Cell coordinator Abdul Mabud, who is also a deputy secretary in the social welfare ministry.
The date for the single-day survey will be fixed soon at the steering committee meeting and the survey will be held within this month of Ramzan, another high official of the ministry said.
The beggars will be given training — based on their age and abilities – in carpentry, automobile repairing, bookbinding, bread or biscuit-making and tailoring among others.
Later the programme will be expanded to other divisional cities as well, the officials added.
The beggars will be sorted into three age groups of between 1 and 12 years, between 12+ years and 50 and those above 50 years of age. The survey will be done under different categories such as disabled, children, women and professional and seasonal beggars.
The Tk 12.47-crore scheme aims to provide accommodation to disabled paupers while the healthy ones would get opportunity of self-employment in their districts of origin. Thousands of people are found seeking alms at bus stands, railway stations, markets, court areas, traffic intersections and in front of temples, shrines and mosques in the capital and other metropolitan cities.
A large number of them are women and children. A survey conducted in 2009 by some NGOs found that 67 per cent beggars are involved in begging due to their poverty, 20 per cent for disability and 10 per cent have taken it up as a profession.
“Seasonal beggars move to the capital ahead of Ramzan, Eid or after natural disasters, including drought, flood or monga”, BEDO assistant director Muhammad Qamrul Huda told The Independent on Thursday.
Sabuj Mollah, a disabled pauper in front of Rajarbagh Police Line said: “I enjoyed begging. I earn at least Tk 100 a day and do not need to pay anyone a commission. In my younger days I pulled a rickshaw and often had to pay a commission to police and extortionists.”
“Now I can move around the city freely. During religious festivals and on Fridays, we all gather either at the graveyards, high court premises and mosques. We gather in front of the academic institutes during public examinations,” he said.

-With The Independent input

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