Begger Rehabilitation

First of all, genuine beggars are identified in a union through a thoroughly investigative process. It has been found that a lot of motivational work is needed to convince a beggar to give up begging and agree to be rehabilitated into a normal life. In some cases, it takes months of counseling and convincing. Once, a beggar, a man or a woman, agrees to be rehabilitated, the PO officials sit with them to assess their health conditions and other circumstances and what they would like to take up in terms of economic activities.

Once that is settled, the beggar is given a grant of BDT 100,000 (about US$1,250), but not in cash. The amount is deposited in a Bank Account, operated jointly by the grant recipient and an official of the PO. The recipient is in fact given support in kind, using the money from that account. If the beggar has a place to live, the house is repaired if and as required or if person has land but not a house, a small house is constructed for her/him to live in and also to accommodate the livestock (such as cow, goat) provided as an income earning source. If the beggar has no land, a piece of land is found for her/him in khas land or through donation by a local generous person or from a relative and a house is constructed for the beggar.

A successfully rehabilitated beggar in his shop provided under ENRICH at Panchari Union in Khagrachari

The beggars have chosen such activities as livestock, grocery or other types of shops, auto van, paddle van etc. Several of those and other appropriate items can be given to a beggar as long as the total cost does not exceed BDT 100,000. The progress of the beggars under rehabilitation is strictly monitored. It is arranged that the Union Parishad (UP) chairman or a UP member or a distinguished local person agrees to help a beggar as her/his mentor. Up to may 2018, 888 beggars (target 1025 to be fulfilled within June 2018) from 152 ENRICH unions have been rehabilitated and they are now living with dignity in society. The full rehabilitation process usually takes one to two years. So far, there has been no drop out. Once rehabilitated, they are known as rehabilitated members or enterprising members in accordance with their newly acquired social dignity (and not as rehabilitated beggars).

The purpose of the PKSF in relation to rehabilitation of beggars is to demonstrate that beggars can be fully rehabilitated and how can that be achieved effectively within a year or two at low enough costs. It is expected that other service providing agencies, even well off individuals will come forward to help such severely disadvantaged people to get out of poverty and live in human dignity.Other types of severely disadvantaged people are also being rehabilitated, appropriately addressing the specific problems and adverse circumstances faced by them.

PKSF Chairman, Managing Director and DMD (Admin) visiting a successfully rehabilitated beggar at Dhamrai, Savar