India has over 3,72,217 child beggars
India has a total of 3,72,217 child beggars below 14 years of age and 41,453 others who survive as marginal workers, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. It indicates that schemes to eradicate the menace were not successful.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla on Tuesday said that the country has a total of 3,72,217 child beggars below 14 years of age and 41,453 others who survive as marginal workers. According the Census 2011 report, out of the total there are 1,97,725 male, while 1,74,492 are female beggars in the age group of 0 to 14 years.
With 75,083 child beggars, West Bengal tops the list followed by Uttar Pradesh with 57,038 and Madhya Pradesh reporting 25,603, according to the report released by Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner. The national capital has 2,073 beggars, while Bihar has 25,857 child beggars. The child begging is also rampant in states of Rajasthan (22,548), Gujarat (12,584), Chhattisgarh (9,355), Goa (229), Maharashtra (22,737), Jharkhand (9,817), Haryana are (7,971). Among the UTs, Lakshadweep has only two child beggars and both are female.
In reply to a question whether any study had been conducted on the reasons for such children engaged in begging, the minister said that no such study had been conducted by the ministry of social justice so far. Though, Sampla admitted that begging was a violation of child rights, the minister informed the House that there is a provision of punishment of up to three years and a fine under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
Giving the details of marginal beggars, the minister told the Lower House that out of total 41,453, there are 23,948 male while 17,505 are female marginal beggars. It’s worth mentioning that a person who has worked for less than six months during the last one year is termed as marginal worker.