BANGALORE: Speaking on the failure of the government to take count of beggars across the state, E Venkataiah, principal secretary, Social Welfare Department, said that the purpose of the survey was to get a total count of the beggars residing in the state, so that the government could plan rehabilitation programmes for them. Also, rehabilitation centres would come up on need basis. He was speaking at a workshop for district level officers on how to enumerate beggars.
“Most of the beggars are migrants. Sixty five per cent of inmates of Bangalore Centre are outsiders. We cannot send them back to their states, but have to provide them shelter. Hence, a census will help us in chalking out plans for them,” Venkataiah added.
Central Relief Committee (CRC), held a pilot project, by conducting technology-based census on beggars in the city, and found out that 9,600 beggars were put up in Bangalore urban region.
K A Ramalingappa, chairman of CRC, said that the technology-based census would be conducted across the state and is expected to be complete within a month. The process of enumeration started when the Karnataka High Court asked the department why they needed 166.03 acres of land, and how many beggars lived in the state. As the department did not have the count, they conducted a pilot project within two months, at all the 198 wards in the city
Not affirming the numbers and the system adopted to capture the data, R N Rajanaik, secretary, CRC, said, “There might be some loopholes in the system and duplications as beggars migrate. However, the total count of beggars in the city will be available by March 26.”