Sri Lanka to rehabilitate beggars

10:23, January 01, 2011      

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Measures are in progress to curb the beggar population in Sri Lanka by rehabilitating them to be worthy citizens, a Sri Lankan government minister said on Friday.

Filix Perera, Minister of Social Services and Welfare said a survey would be carried out soon to identify the number of beggars in the country and they will be directed to an specially designed rehabilitation center.

The ministry has appointed a committee to carry out the survey which includes ministry officials as well, he said.

"Most members of the beggar population are disabled and after the rehabilitation processes the ministry plans to offer them suitable employment opportunities," said Perera.

He said two percent (more than 400,000) of the total population in Sri Lanka is disabled and this is the main reason that forces them to take begging as their means of income.

The new budget has allocated Rs. 400 millions (3.6 million US dollars) to upgrade the lives of the disabled so that they can achieve equal status as the ordinary citizens in the country, the minister said.

"There are types of beggars, who do it as a profession, who do it due to the sheer poverty and who do it as a habit," he said adding the ministry expects to identify the beggars belonging to all these types and reform them.

Source: Xinhua
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