HYDERABAD:The common sight of destitute women and poverty-stricken children stretching their arms for alms at traffic signals across the city could well fade away from the minds of citizens and visitors to Hyderabad with a programme to be launched soon for their rehabilitation and making them employable.
The Hyderabad traffic police have recently conducted a survey at 68 traffic junctions in the city and identified nearly 500 destitutes for rehabilitation. The programme, to be jointly pursued by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the traffic police, is scheduled to be implemented by various non-governmental organisations.
After a series of deliberations, a proposal has been forwarded by the GHMC to the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) requesting for a budgetary sanction of Rs 28 lakh for a period of three to six months. The proposal seeks an initial one-time expenditure of Rs 2,000 per destitute and a recurring expenditure of Rs 50 a day.
The city traffic police and the Hyderabad city police, who have primarily taken up the project on themselves, maintain that the blueprint for the rehabilitation of destitute programme has been carefully charted out in order to provide a comprehensive change in the lives of the destitutes. They say that the programme will be launched as soon as the required funds are sanctioned.
“Our survey has categorised these destitutes according to their gender, age, health, etc. We have also identified the NGOs to take up the rehabilitation and engage these destitutes productively through some skills development programme to make them employable,” said Jitender, additional commissioner of police (traffic). According to him, the city is home to 2,000-odd destitute.
In the second phase, those seen near places of worship and streets would be considered, he added.
The programme aims to provide education, food, clothing, healthcare, etc apart from training in vocations. As many as 18 NGOs working with children, women, mentally or physically challenged etc have come forward to implement the programme, said GHMC officials.
“Those who require medical attention will be provided that, and those who require skills training for finding employment will be given that. A number of NGOs have been selected after their available infrastructure was examined,” said a senior GHMC official.
The officials clarified that existing GHMC night shelters would not be used for the programme. “It is a two-pronged strategy. These identified destitutes will get a fresh lease of life and also this programme will enhance the brand image of Hyderabad. The government is very serious about it,” said the official. One of the NGOs who have expressed their willingness to be a partner in the programme, has said that government funding is a real help. “A minimum of Rs 4,500 a month will be required for each person.