Indore (Madhya Pradesh): In the past year (April 2022 to February 2023) Childline rescued 70 child beggars indicating that the problem persists and the IMC’s dream to make Indore a ‘beggar-free’ city is still a work in progress.
However, there has been a 60 per cent drop in the number of complaints of child beggars in the city, according to Childline. This indicates that the sheer number of child beggars is likely to have come down. But, one has to bear in mind that the figure is solely based on phone calls they receive.
“We received seven complaints or information of children begging for money or food in the last two months, and we have rescued all of them. In 2021-22 the total complaints received were 176, while this year it has declined to 70,” said Rahul Gothane, Childline coordinator.
Referring to the problems faced in rescuing child beggars, Gothane said, “The major problem is that these kids are reluctant to give their names or where they live and often run away when asked these questions. These children are well-trained not to reveal their identities. Also, when our rescue team reaches the spot after receiving a complaint, the child is nowhere in sight. However, things are changing now and the department's awareness camps will help in tackling the problem,” Rahul added.
Unfortunately, though the woman and child development department aims to rescue and rehabilitate child beggars, they are yet to come up with a concrete plan. However, WCD officials said that they will soon chalk out a concrete plan. At present, the WCD depends on NGOs and private organisations to rehabilitate rescued children.
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