More than 13,000 beggars, both men and women, have been admitted to 'Anand Ashrams' (special homes) here since their establishment over one-and-a-half years ago.
As part of its initiative to make the city 'beggar- free', the prisons department in Telangana on October 20, 2017, started 'Anand Ashrams' for rehabilitation of beggars in Chanchalguda and Cherlapalli central prisons in the city.
The objective of the 'Anand Ashrams' is to serve the people at the lowest rung of society and to maintain law and order by eradicating begging,Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services Vinoy Kumar Singh said.
The beggars were brought to 'Anand Ashrams' through regular drives held in coordination with the police and municipal authorities.
"So far we have picked up 8,438 male beggars and 4,977 female ones, out of which 8,260 male beggars and 4,948 female beggars were released on a personal undertaking that they would not resort to begging again," Singh told PTI.
Most of the beggars have been rehabilitated or sent to their homes. Those staying back are either mentally retarded, or who cannot walk or abandoned by their family members and not taken back by their families, Singh said adding: "We're imparting training and upgrading their skills at the "Anand Ashrams."
Singh said more emphasis has been given on their basic learning.
Literacy classes are conducted for all inmates of the 'Anand Ashrams'.
The Society for Employment Promotion and Training in Twin Cities (SETWIN) is imparting skills to beggars and their services are used for campus maintenance, gardening and cooking also.
Besides, they are trained in tailoring and embroidery, among others.
Counselling is also being provided to "repeat" beggars by psychological counsellors and supervisor of the 'Anand Ashrams'.
He further said the department's proposal to extend the beggar rehabilitation centres across the state was pending with the government and after getting approval 'Anand Ashrams' would be set up in all the districts.
The department has a scheme which offers reward of Rs 1,000 to those who give information about beggars, and has so far disbursed Rs 36,000 under the initiative, he said.
Singh further said some of the mentally retarded beggars were admitted to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) at Erragadda here for treatment and they were released later after they recovered.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)