Social Justice Ministry launches SMILE-75 initiative

Tags: Government Schemes

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched the 'SMILE-75' initiative for comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging in 75 municipalities on the occasion of 75th year of independence on 12th August. 

About SMILE -75 Scheme

  • Full name of SMILE - Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise

  • The scheme is a sub-scheme under the 'Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons engaged in begging'.

  • This scheme also focuses on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities and intervention, counselling, education, skill development, economic linkages to transgender persons.

  • Under this, many comprehensive welfare measures have been included for the persons engaged in begging.

  • A total budget of Rs 100 crore has been allocated for the SMILE scheme for the period 2025-26 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • Under the scheme, a target has been set to develop a support system for the holistic rehabilitation of the people engaged in begging.

Implementation of the Scheme

  • The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • It will be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations, institutions and others.

Status of begging in India

  • According to the 2011 census, the total number of beggars in India is 4,13,670 (including 2,21,673 males and 1,91,997 females).

  • West Bengal has the highest number of beggars, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at number two and third place respectively.

  • According to the 2011 census, there are only two beggars in Lakshadweep.

  • The Union Territory of New Delhi has the highest number of beggars, followed by Chandigarh.

  • Among the northeastern states, Assam tops the number of beggars, while Mizoram is at the bottom.

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