VISAKHAPATNAM: Women with month-old babies in tow pestering the motorists for alms at major junctions in Vizag has become a common sight. The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and the Women and Child Welfare officials have launched a special drive to identify the destitute children and accommodate them in rehabilitation centres.
As a part of the drive, surprise checks are being conducted at major city junctions.
During the drive, the officials have found that as many as 15 families which have migrated from Rajamahendravaram, Vizianagaram and others got settled in the city a few years ago.
While the male members of these families sell brooms and other knick-knacks, women bring their children along with them for begging on roads.
The officials said that syrups and medicines are being administered to the babies to keep them asleep all the time and the women beg all through the day.
“During the recent drive, we have rescued two women and their babies. There is also a 4-month-old baby who was found suffering from severe heat at a junction. Since previously there were cases of the babies being hired, we have checked with the certificate and found that the women are biological parents of the babies,” said District Child Protection officer A Satyanarayana.
Despite holding counselling sessions to make them change their ways of living, there are many who escape from our notice.During the continuous checks, the team also takes a written letter from the parents not to repeat the same again.“We found most people at Satyam junction, NAD, RTC Complex and Maddilapalem. While we move on our vehicle, a few escape into other areas or hide behind the vehicles,” he said.
There are also many motorists who have been calling Childline complaining about this problem on roads. To control the situation, the DCPU plans to interact with those communities at their place on May 24 to find the root cause of their problems and show them an alternative livelihood.
“Our target is control mother begging with their children in another three months. For that we are now planning to provide welfare schemes for the children by rehabilitating them. If the mother is not willing to part with the child, they will be linked to anganwadi centres for providing proper diet,” Satyanarayana told Express.