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Tackling organised child begging


Enforce ban

To control this problem, the Government as well as the Corporation should enforce a ban on begging. Secondly, arrangements should be made to collect the beggars and place them in poor homes set up for them. Thirdly, in addition to a law and order problem, begging has created insecurity among parents of small children. Hence, the Kerala Government and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation should come forward jointly to stop this menace in the city by taking stringent action against begging.

V.G. Balakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Partial ban?

A total ban on begging as a first step would not be fruitful and not a clever decision. The first step should be to make arrangements for the settlement of child beggars with their mothers, if any.

The second step is to accommodate women. Beggars above the age of 30 may be allowed to beg as usual. But the police department should have an eye on them.

L. Ravi Sankar

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Rehabilitate them

The Government should also take more effective measures to crush gangs which thrive on begging in an organised manner. More beggars' homes should be opened where training in various crafts and trade may be provided. Such an effort will help the inhabitants to lead an honourable life. Instead of offering money to beggars, people should encourage them to work and thereby help them earn their living.

Miji Varghese

Adoor

* * *

Use compassion

Luminaries like Mother Teresa have proved that what cannot be achieved by strict enforcement can be achieved by compassion and care. Most of these children who come from very poor families, are denied even basic primary education and are thus not aware of their rights. Institutions like Don Bosco and Sree Chitra Home are doing yeomen service in this regard, rehabilitating them and providing them with schooling and clothing. The City Corporation has also decided to set up a childcare home. The Government and the general public should support the noble endeavour of these institutions.

The enforcement agencies should get to the bottom of the begging racket, identify the real culprits and bring them to book.

P.H. Karthik

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Stop giving alms

Child beggars and all beggars live out of our sympathy. Once we stop giving alms, begging can be controlled to a great extent. The Government should ban begging and provide rehabilitation measures to these child beggars. The Government can seek the help of NGOs, social workers and also the civic authorities, so that the cancerous growth of child begging can be eliminated.

K.T. Sukumaran

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Ban is a must

A total ban on begging is a must and strict action should be taken to enforce it. Creating awareness for a country-wide ban on begging is necessary. Setting up homes for deserving cases can also be considered.

A. Jacob Sahayam

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Involve social workers

Social activists, arts club members or even individuals can play a prominent role in curbing this social menace. Child beggars should be rehabilitated and sheltered in beggar relief centres. The help of the police may be sought to find out the hideouts of the racketeers behind the organised begging. Creation of begging prohibited zones would also help solve the problem.

Sheraf

Kollam

* * *

Reduce the menace

In general, a ban on begging will help in reducing the menace to some extent. The public, on the other hand, should refrain from giving alms to beggars. The same help can be given to the beggars in rehabilitation centres.

When children are found with strangers in suspicious circumstances, the matter should be reported immediately to the children's helpline. Efforts should also be made to restore the children to their homes at the earliest. The kidnappers should be punished severely.

Jovita Pancras

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Monitor them

A law has to be strictly enforced to ban begging. The foremost step to be taken is to institute a separate cell that would be responsible for busting this widespread racket. Once the culprits behind this racket are arrested, the number of children involved in this activity would come down to a large extent. Organisations should be set up to rehabilitate child beggars. They should be taught to earn their livelihood. The public also has a major role to play in putting an end to child begging. They should not encourage them by giving alms. Instead, they should inform these organisations which, in turn, would take these children and provide them a better living.

Sujatha Karthikeyan

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Give them a chance

Opening rehabilitation centres and giving proper education facilities to these children may sort out most of these problems. Instead of giving money to run these rackets through these children, we can forward our contributions for to these institutions. Simultaneously, a total ban on begging can make a great difference.

Philip Peter

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Public intervention

Child begging should be completely banned. The Government should take the help of voluntary agencies. Transit schools must be established where these children can have their education. Public awareness has to be created and the authorities must notify the voluntary coordinating agencies which should take care of these children.

A.S. Lakshmi,

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Alternative work

A programme for basic education and rehabilitation should be initiated by the Corporation. Under-privileged children can be prevented from resorting to begging by giving them jobs which are not dangerous so that they can earn a living.

David J. Mathew

By e-mail

* * *

Set up `poor home'

The authorities must set up a `poor home' for the beggars and at the same time educate the public not to give alms to beggars but only to the institutions where the beggars are rehabilitated, if they want to do so. This will discourage begging in public.

Jacob Thomas

By e-mail

* * *

All-round protection

The following methods may be followed to curb child begging. Provide sex education for children in the workplace. Laws must be developed and existing laws relating to children such as drug trafficking laws be scrutinised. Counselling must be provided to street children. Alternative skills training should be provided to them. There must be effective punishment of the perpetrators of violence and abuse. A separate police force to deal with children must be created. Homes for children should be set up and helplines for street children be expanded.

Amjadh Mohamed

By e-mail

* * *

Government's move

Instead of imposing a ban on begging, the Government should ensure that the street children and orphans do not fall into the hands of organisers of begging rackets, but earn an honest living. Laws regarding child rights should effectively be enforced so that no child is maimed for begging, no parent dares to exploit his children and no child fears to step on the streets alone.

Shijomon Mathew

Pala

* * *

Only solution

A total ban on begging is the one and only solution for controlling child begging. The Government or the court should pass an order banning begging in the State and the authorities implement the same in spirit. It would be a step against child labour and begging.

Sreelakshmi Sankar

By e-mail

* * *

Implement law

The miserable sight of children begging and forced into begging is indeed a heartrending scene to many of us.

Beggars from other States too are making it a business in Kerala causing much distress and serious concern to both public and authorities. An outright ban of beggars may prove to be a theoretical solution as implementation of the same is unlikely to be effective. The sad part is that though there is law against child labour, child begging is on the increase.

There should be a strict law and proper implementation of the same with stringent punishment for those who introduce children into the begging profession. The Railways has a big role to play in the implementation.

Local authorities and enforcement agencies are to be directed to be more vigilant against the beggar lobbies.

K. Jiji Panicker

Kundara

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