The Odisha government has identified a total of 6,970 beggars across the state and is implementing a scheme called Sahaya for their welfare, a minister said on Saturday.
In a written reply in the state Assembly, social security and empowerment of persons with disabilities minister Ashok Chandra Panda said as many 4,128 male and 2,842 female beggars have been identified by the state government in all 30 districts of Odisha. However, Panda said that there is no child bagger in the state.
Cuttack district tops the list with 1,060 beggars, it is followed by 595 in Bargarh district, 545 in Ganjam, 502 in Bolangir, 447 in Sundargarh, 418 in Khurda, 363 in Kalahandi, 354 in Nuapada and 350 in Puri, the minister said.
Among other districts, 283 beggars are identified in Sonepur district, 222 in Koraput, 205 in Angul, 196 in Jajpur, 188 in Bhadrak, 183 in Nabarangpur, 176 in Rayagada, 164 in Mayurbhanj, 132 in Dhenkanal and 131 in Balasore, he informed. The process is on to include left-out baggers in the list, Panda said.
For their welfare, he said, the state government is implementing a scheme called Sahaya. In the first phase, special drives named as Niladri Nilaya and Ekamra Nilaya have been launched in Puri and Bhubaneswar towns, respectively, the minister said.
Under the scheme, bagger rehabilitation centres have been opened in Khurda and Sambalpur districts while funds have been sanctioned for establishment of such centres in Rourkela municipality, Ganjam and Dhenkanal. A proposal for opening of such a centre in Cuttack Municipal Corporation is under consideration of the government, he added.