Begging, a resource-less life, is the result of the long-time rotation of vicious cycle of poverty. The profession ultimately paves path for the access of depersonalization, dependency and idleness to the individual as well as family life. Every person has some aptitudes as well as capabilities. Beggars are also no exception. So a little support and encouragement can make beggars active in economic professions and earn livelihood. SSS has been implementing begging eradication program since 2008.
Goal and Policies
The goal of begging eradication program is to engage the beggars in income generating activities by providing financial support and develop and raise their mentality, positive personality and self-respect through training, motivation and inspirational counsels and thus gradually eradicate begging from the society. In order to build a hunger-free self-dependent nation, SSS has been implementing the begging eradication program under the following policies:
♦ Analyzing assets-capabilities, potentialities and opportunities of beggar families and selecting proper IGAs
♦ Providing necessary training and technical support for the implementation of those IGAs;
♦ Providing grants, psychological motivation and financial support;
♦ Providing counsels for observation, facilitation and proper psychological development; and
♦ Ensuring education, food-nutrition and healthcare for the beggar families.
In the earlier part of 2008 SSS undertook the activities of begging eradication in the Unions of Gala and Dainna under Tangail Sadar Upazila. SSS has been implementing the program on its own fund and planning. Presently, the program is expanded over 10 Unions of Tangail Sadar Upazila. The work-strategy includes: development of psychological values of beggars by training, counseling and superintendence, providing financial support, education, health, sanitation and nutrition support and support in other development activities.
A total of 317 beggars among 1,085 surveyed beggars in the working area were brought under the program. The target beggars were provided with Tk. 4,000 to Tk. 6,000 as one-time grants. In order to engage themselves in different income generating activities with the grant money based on their choices, demand and capability, goats, lambs, poultry and other equipments were bought for the beggars. They also received technical support from SSS.
The begging eradication program implemented a number of activities during 2016-17. The important activities are as follows:
Monitoring and Psychological Development Activities: The income generating activities or businesses of beneficiary families run by SSS grants were monitored and followed up regularly. Different cluster and village committees were formed to support the superintendence and observation activities. Regular village committee meetings, courtyard meetings and counseling workshops were arranged for the psychological development of the beggars.
Technical Support and IGAs: Necessary technical support and trainings on the adopted IGAs were provided to the beggar families. At the same time, proper counsels and motivation were provided for income generation by utilizing capable members of beneficiary families, making the proper use of their assets and ensuring the utilization of opportunities. The diligent members of beggar families were included in the credit program of SSS for the extension of their financial condition.
Healthcare and Educational Support Activities: The targeted beggar families are continuously notified and made conscious about food-nutrition, health and medical services, cleanliness, primary healthcare, infectious and water bearing diseases and other matters. They also receive financial support in order to ensure demand-based healthcare services. On the other hand, regular diversified initiatives are being implemented to create study attentiveness in children and adolescents of target families, alleviate educational obstructions and expanding education-friendly activities. The meritorious students of beggar families get regular scholarship and educational equipment supports from SSS.
Achievement of Begging Eradication Program
The positive impact of implemented activities of begging eradication program is easily noticeable in our society. A number of beggars have left this despicable profession and learnt to earn livelihood by mainstream economic professions. The achievements of the program during 2016-17 are presented below.
Leaving Begging: As on 30 June 2017, as many as 164 beggars have given up begging completely as a result of both direct and indirect impacts of begging eradication program. As many as 72 beggars sometimes go for the same but are promised to leave the profession as early as possible and adopt socioeconomic professions. 31 beggars have strong desire to leave begging in future.
Monitoring and Psychological Development Activities: During 2016-17, a total of four village committee meetings and 78 courtyard meetings were arranged under the begging eradication program.
Technical Support and IGAs: During 2016-17, 828 livestocks were vaccinated in livestock vaccination camps under the begging eradication program. During the reporting period, 104 beggar family members received credits of Tk. 34.26 lac in order to facilitate their IGAs.
Healthcare and Educational Support Activities: During 2016-17, one patient from a beggar family received free healthcare services. On the other hand, a total of 124 children from beggar families are now studying in different levels as on 30 June 2017. Of them, 64 are boys and 60 girls. SSS provided scholarship to six students of them and educational equipment support to 15 students.