Soon the city of Nawabs will be free from beggars, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation is working (LMC) on a plan to give physically fit beggars a job. A survey conducted by Indramani Tripathi, municipal commissioner, Lucknow found that 4,500 beggars and in the initial phase 45 beggars will be given a job.
“Most are physically fit to work, but they don’t, as they are used to getting easy money,” said Tripathi to Hindustan Times.
In the other round, the next 45 beggars will be provided job by an NGO. “We are in talks with NGOs who will employ them in cleaning and waste collection work. The idea is to get them work, and also make the city free from a social evil like begging. They bring a bad name to the city, which is fast emerging as a tourist hub,” Tripathi said to Hindustan Times.
Those who don’t take up the work offered may find themselves on the wrong side of the law, with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation seeking legal opinion on whether they can be booked, and under which law.
“In Mumbai there is a law under which begging has been declared illegal. We don’t have such a law here but we are taking legal opinion from the state government. We are exploring sections of the Indian Penal Code, under which we can lodge FIR against those who continue begging,” said Tripathi.
Lawyer Prashant Kumar says to Hindustan Times, “ Presently FIR cannot be lodged against the beggars in Lucknow because begging on streets is not a crime. There is no such law under which the beggars can be booked. But FIR could be lodged against the mafias who force anyone to begging.”
“Some of the beggars who can read and write will be employed in other works like revenue collection,” said the LMC boss.