In an attempt to curb begging and human trafficking, the Department of Women Development and Child Welfare (WCD) and Hyderabad police recently rescued 83 children from the vicious circle of begging. The departments collectively conducted a 10-day drive to bust the racket and saved innocent lives trapped in the business.
Smita Sabharwal, an Indian Administrative Service Officer belonging to the Telangana Cadre, took to Twitter to thank Sweta Mohanty IAS, WCD Telangana, Hyderbad Police for the rescue operation of the children in the city and reuniting them with their parents after DNA check. The children were also given counselling sessions to help them get over the trauma while talking about their experience. The rescued children included a five-year-old too.
According to E Akkeshwar Rao, District Welfare Officer (DWO) of Hyderabad, the pandemic is responsible for an increase in cases of begging. Ever since the start of the pandemic, children were being forced into the begging rackets. At present, there are around 30,000 beggars in Hyderabad. They are trafficked to big cities to get more alms, reported The New Indian Express.
Other Rescue Operations
In January 2021, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), launched a special drive in association with Police and Revenue Departments where beggars were identified and imparted training to take up self-employment programmes. A few others were provided rehabilitation at shelter homes spread across the city.
The Operation Smile-VII drive started in January by Hyderabad Police, and Child Welfare Department has saved more than 580 children, including 52 girls.
Report Begging Cases
Begging groups involves not only a few goons, but at times they're supported by officials and police too. According to Kanya Babu, the co-founder of All India for Sevice (AIMS) NGO, parents sometimes sell their children into begging rackets because of poverty. That is why it becomes strenuous to find these children.
There's a need to educate and aware people of begging. She says that it is essential for every citizen to act responsibly, and instead of giving money to a beggar, people should provide them with food because they might be hungry. If you suspect that a child is forced or kidnapped to beg, report it at the 1098 child helpline.