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SMILE-75 Initiative

SMILE-75 Initiative:

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched the “SMILE-75 Initiative”.

  • SMILE (Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise Scheme) is aimed at making cities/towns and municipal areas begging-free and comprehensive rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of begging.
  • Under the initiative, seventy-five (75) Municipal Corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging.
  • Measures taken: rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other Government welfare programmes etc.
  • According to the Census 2011 total number of beggars in India is over 4 lakhs.
  • West Bengal tops the chart followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
  • Though there is no central law on begging, some states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, which penalises beggary.