Beggars proceed to throng Pune streets

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PUNE Whereas Pune is shifting in the direction of changing into a wise metropolis, the issue of begging has compounded with the variety of beggars having elevated over the previous two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vikas Kuchekar, president of Human Rights’ Safety and Consciousness, a social group that demanded data on this challenge below the suitable to data (RTI), stated, “As per official information, there are solely round 471 beggars throughout Maharashtra. Nonetheless, Pune itself has greater than 12,000 beggars.”

Whereas the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959 considers begging a criminal offense, it has turn out to be one thing of an trade within the metropolis. “Though the police take away them when somebody registers a criticism, there isn’t any everlasting resolution. They’re again on the similar spot inside hours,” Kuchekar stated.

Beggars throng a majority of site visitors indicators, areas of worship and markets throughout the town. The beggar hotspots in Pune embrace nurse cease, Kondhwa, Shaniwarwada, Swargate, Budhwar peth and Koregaon park amongst others.

Rajesh Puranik, head of the social safety cell, Pune police, stated, “Begging is a social crime that has been happening for years. It’s a unending downside. The Pune police register on a mean 32 to 35 instances each month however as it’s a bailable offence, they simply bail themselves out by paying a 5,000 high-quality.”

In accordance with the social safety cell, the beggars earn 800 to 1,400 daily, making it a enterprise for a lot of. “The syndicates are robust. We have now additionally registered instances below the Juvenile Justice Act. Many kids are dragged into this by teams,” stated Puranik.

The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959 provides police the authority to arrest anybody who’s discovered begging however hardly any motion is taken towards the handlers. Qaneez Sukhrani, a social activist who has been actively pursuing the difficulty with the federal government for the final 5 years, stated, “One can discover the handlers each morning at completely different spots bringing the beggars. Most handlers steal kids, the beggars’ limbs are reduce and they’re handicapped. The police must imprison these handlers. Motion should be taken towards them.”

The central authorities runs properties for beggars and rehabilitation centres for offering them vocational coaching with the goal of creating them expert and unbiased. Pune has a rehabilitation shelter situated in Phulenagar, Yerawada. “Nonetheless, only a few beggars are literally taken to the centre,” stated Kuchekar.

Puranik added, “Even once we take them to the centres, they run away. Many a time, the beggars turn out to be aggressive. The issue will get sophisticated, particularly in case of kids, girls and transgenders.”

“There must be a joint effort by the Pune Municipal Company (PMC) and the police to supply correct coaching to those beggars and enhance the situation of the welfare state. Night time shelters are usually not the answer,” stated Sukhrani.

Whereas the authorized technique of coping with beggars have did not result in change, Puranik stated, “It’s the society which wants to grasp and cease encouraging them. Many occasions within the title of faith or sympathy, folks have a tendency to present alms thus encouraging this social crime. There must be a basic consciousness amongst folks concerning this challenge as properly.”

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