Begging Laws: Indian Context- A Crime? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Begging Laws: Indian Context- A Crime?

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Introduction: Begging can be described in multiple layers, as it is critical to identify and understand the reasons of begging. Historically, begging is associated with colonial rule which promoted unequal labor.  Present day, there can be multiple factors involved like- Unemployment, lack of social acceptance, healthy environment, religious factors etc. 


How is it a crime? – According to the Bombay Prevention of begging Act 1959, begging remains a crime. Begging can be punishable up to 10 years.

Should it be a crime?- Constitutionally, the law which criminalizes begging violates fundamental rights. Specially, article 19 and 21 are being violated.
Socially and economic failures often lead to situations like begging among the extreme vulnerable groups. Detention or criminalizing the act without understanding the basic nature of  will further increase vulnerability in society.
A way ahead-   There are certain ways suggested for welfare of beggars as state has responsibility to build social and economic capabilities for poor and marginalized citizens.

-          To beg is not a crime and there should be social investigation reports for the welfare of beggars.

-          There should be proper way of tracing the victims and rehabilitating them.

-          Vocational training may help them in acquiring skills

-          There should be proper medical support
Adequate counselling and rehabilitation is required as well. There can be a working helpline like 'dial100 in UP' for identifying them. Community involvement is always appreciated, various NGO's can be helpful in their rehabilitation and obtaining a dignified life. DownloadAndoridApp