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SMILE-75 Initiative

Context: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar has launched today “SMILE-75 Initiative on August 12, 2022.

About SMILE-75  Initiative: 

Under the "SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise", named as "SMILE-75 Initiative", the Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has identified 75 Municipal Corporations to implement a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for persons engaged in the act of begging. The initiative is part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Under the SMILE-75 initiative, Municipal Corporations, in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders, will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons engaged in the act of begging. The initiative will focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other Government welfare programmes etc. 

The Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has allocated a budget outlay of Rs. 100 crore for the SMILE project for the coming years till 2025-26. 

Significance of the SMILE-75  Initiative: 

Through this project, the government envisions developing a support mechanism for holistic rehabilitation of those engaged in begging and building an India where no person is forced to beg to survive and fulfil their basic needs. The scheme has recognised the persisting problem of destitution and beggary and formulated a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation for persons engaged in begging, which covers identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, and education, skill development for a decent job and self-employment/entrepreneurship.

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