Beggars leave behind Jaipur’s streets to pick up vocational skills

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Beggars

Jaipur: An elegant heritage building here is playing host to 33 beggars these days, who are picking life skills thanks to an innovative Rajasthan government initiative.

The ambitious project started by RSLDC in association with Sopan society is imparting new skills to these beggars who were living on the streets till now. Neeraj K Pawan, says Secretary (Labour, Employment, Skill, Entrepreneurship and ESI), Rajasthan Government, “Initially, we’ve organised a 15-day counselling session for these destitutes. After counselling, we shall start a 3-month training programme for them to ensure that the hands which were once used to beg will now be working to earn a dignified livelihood,” he added

“We have already tied with Akshaya Patra, an NGO, for their placement. We are continuing with our first and second batch and shall start our next batch after three months. Due to Covid, we have kept the numbers minimum,” he added.

“We have made arrangements for their jobs too. Most of these people are aged around 30 and shall be trained as electricians, guards, beauticians and cooks. The Akshay Patra Foundation is ready to give them jobs too. We shall set an example for the world by rehabilitating these beggars and bringing them to mainstream,” said RK Jain, Deputy General Manager, RSLDC.

Meanwhile, the building playing host to the beggars opens into a beautifully curated lawn where they perform yoga in the morning. The steps take you to classrooms where the beggars are now pursuing their education.

Donning clean uniforms, these disciplined students said they were happy to be learning new skills to earn and shall return home once they have a decent job.

Tulsiram, an Andhra Pradesh resident, says “I came here 12 years back for a mechanical job in Jodhpur. However, I was so fed up with my family tensions that I gave up my job and then was working as a labourer and begging on the streets of Jaipur. Now, am here learning computers and want to stand on my own feet and earn a decent livelihood. Then I shall return to my family.” IANS