The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated an umbrella scheme “SMILE - Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”. This umbrella scheme would cover several comprehensive measures including welfare measures for both transgender persons and persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, education, skill development, economic linkages etc. with the support of State Governments/UTs/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and institutions and others.
Financial allocation of Rs 100 crores for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 for the scheme.
SMILE includes two sub-schemes - ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
Pilot projects have been initiated on Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons engaged in the act of Begging in ten cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmadabad which provide comprehensive measures including survey and identification, mobilization, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, awareness generation, counseling, education, skill development and sustainable settlement of persons engaged in begging.
Scheme provides for the use of the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of Begging. In case of non-availability of existing shelter homes, new dedicated shelter homes are to be set up by the implementing agencies.
Source : Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment