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2) Instead of the present penalizing approach, there is a need to build the social and economic capacities of the state, which would care for its poor and marginalised citizens. Discuss, in the light of anti-begging laws in India.(250 words)

TopicWelfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

2) Instead of the present penalizing approach, there is a need to build the social and economic capacities of the state, which would care for its poor and marginalised citizens. Discuss, in the light of anti-begging laws in India.(250 words)

Epw

 

Why this question

Begging is viewed as an unwanted social phenomenon and most of the Indian states have anti-begging laws in place. However, the problem of begging is not well interpreted by the society and the government. Begging(by large) is not a result of syndicates or organised gangs but of many socio-economic realities, neglected by us. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the inadequacies/ limitations of the present legal mechanism in place to deal with the problem of begging in India.  The question wants us to write at length about the need to build the social and economic capacity of the state to eradicate begging.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive, which commands us to write in detail about the limitations of the prevalent legal mechanism aimed at eradicating begging. We have to bring out the need for building the social and economic capacity of the state in order to handle the problem.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that around 20 States and union territories in India have put in place anti-begging laws.

Body

  1. Discuss in points the limitations/ negative points about the present mechanism to deal with begging. ( e.g they go against the grain of due process rights and are specifically in violation of Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution, summary punishments are given without any recourse to legal help or capacity building, arrests are made arbitrarily and affect the social and economic capacity of not only the arrested person but also his family/ dependents which are forced into begging, leaving school, sexual exploitation etc.).
  2. Discuss why there is a need for an alternate strategy and for building the social and economic capacity of the state to deal with the problem. ( e.g the present mechanism does not try to understand the reasons behind begging but penalises a person for being who they are and not what they have done, Article 38 of the Constitution provides that the state shall secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people. Entry nine in the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution makes “the relief of the disabled and unemployable” a state subject; the phenomena of begging to be mainly a result of  large gangs of syndicates, earning huge money are misplaced, those involved in begging are in a highly vulnerable state and need protection and state’s as well as society’s support etc.)

Conclusion– briefly discuss the way forward (e.g understanding the problem better, improving beggars homes, reducing threshold for arrest and providing legal support to the accused, involving NGOs in this direction, sensitising the society about the problem , addressing inequalities in our society etc.).