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72 Beggars Profiled

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has profiled 72 people as part of their beggar rehabilitation process. Minister Rosy Akbar told the Parliament yesterday that many were generational
10 Feb 2015 10:20
72 Beggars Profiled

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has profiled 72 people as part of their beggar rehabilitation process.

Minister Rosy Akbar told the Parliament yesterday that many were generational beggars, while some are mentally challenged, old, sickly and have been pushed out of their homes.

Ms Akbar highlighted that while begging was a criminal offence punishable by three months in jail, the Bainimarama-Government believed in taking a more humane approach to reach out and assist these individuals.

She said Government policies such as free medicine, water scheme for households and subsidised electricity were steps in the right direction in assisting these people.

“For beggars, it comes down to bread and butter issues. Every dollar matters to them.

“The Fijian Government regards those begging on the streets like any other Fijian. All they need is inspiration and opportunities with positive mentoring, with which they too can raise to better livelihoods.

“It is all about the application of a creative leadership, compassion and care to bring comfort to a less fortunate person.”

She said her ministry had progressed from profiling information on beggars to creating income-generating opportunities.

Ms Akbar also reinforced that there is zero tolerance on child begging.

The ministry has a one-month-old baby in their care whose mother was sighted with her while begging.

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