Bengal is now in a dilemma over joining the rehabilitation scheme for beggars started by the Center. According to sources, almost all the states of the country except Bengal have submitted the draft to the Center regarding the implementation of this scheme, but despite sending letters continuously from the Center, no satisfactory reply has yet been given by Bengal. If political experts are to be believed, the ruling party fears that the BJP may face the most beggar issue in Bengal, which could be costly for the Trinamool Congress in the upcoming assembly elections.
In fact, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched a comprehensive rehabilitation scheme for beggars across the country. Under this, the first 10 cities of the country have to be beggar-free, including Kolkata. This would include identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, education, skill development etc. For this, adequate data of beggars has been sought from all states.
According to sources, almost all the states except Bengal have sent their draft regarding beggars to the Center but no data has been sent from Bengal yet. A number of letters have been sent to the state by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment regarding the implementation of the scheme. Only last week, some senior officials of the Ministry have spoken to the Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in this regard through video conferencing but have not received any satisfactory reply.
Highest beggars in Bengal
According to the data released by the ministry, there are 4.13 lakh beggars in the country of which Bengal has about 81 thousand. This means that about a quarter of the total beggars in the country are in Bengal. Political experts say that the ruling party fears that the BJP may face the most beggar issue in Bengal, which could be costly for the Trinamool Congress in the upcoming assembly elections. However, at the same time, the state is also afraid of being deprived of funds if it is not included in the central scheme.
Bengal was not included in Ayushman Bharat and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana
Earlier, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced not to implement Ayushman Bharat and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi schemes in the state. However she later agreed to implement the conditional. In the beginning, Bengal was not included in the two schemes, which affected the image of the state. On the question of Bengal not being included in the Beggar Rehabilitation Scheme, Kolkata Municipal Corporation Administrator and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim did not give any direct reply, alleging that the Center does not provide money to Bengal for its schemes anyway. We are arranging for the rehabilitation of beggars at our level.