JAGATSINGHPUR: The district administration has directed the district child protection unit to provide financial assistance to the family of a minor girl Sonami Das (10). Sonami, a resident of Naradia village under Balikuda district of Jagatsinghpur district, is a Class IV student of the village’s primary school. But she rarely attends classes owing to abject poverty.
Sonami can be seen begging for alms with her blind 75-year-old grandmother to help her family make both ends meet. After the death of her father last month, the family of six was left with no earning member. This forced Sonami to skip classes and beg. Her mother Pratima Das, a daily wager, said since it is extremely tough for the family to survive on her income, Sonami has no option but skip studies and beg for alms.
Block Education Officer Balikuda Sachidananada Sahu said the headmaster of Naradia Nodal Primary School has been directed to counsel the minor and her family members and ensure that Sonami attends classes.
District Child Protection Officer Kanhu Charan Rout said as per the direction of the district Collector, a team of district child protection unit visited the family’s home in the village on Saturday to assess their financial condition. He said the minor’s family was urged to send the girl to Sishu Ashram but they refused. “Steps have been taken to provide financial assistance to her family members”, Rout said, adding the district child protection unit had recently rehabilitated 12 children who were found begging on the streets.
Plan to rehabilitate beggars
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently informed Parliament about the Government’s plans to consider a scheme to rehabilitate beggars and provide skill development training to them. At present, 20 States and two UTs have either enacted their own anti-beggary laws or adopted those enacted by other states.