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Drive to shelter, facilitate beggars failed: MoLSA

AT-KABUL: Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) said that the drive to provide shelter, food and education to the beggars who really deserve to be supported has been failed due to lack of required budget.

Mohammad Wasel Noor Mohmand said that the ministry need Afs51 million to implement the new strategy which is focused on welfare of beggars.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohmand said that the ministry and other concerned organizations lacked enough budgets to set welfare homes for the destitute.

He divided beggars into three categories: those who are really poor, those who have come from Pakistan and the professional beggars. He said that it was difficult to separate the destitute ones from professional beggars. Mohmand said that they have devised plans to overcome the challenge of begging across the country.

“Spy agencies should find out if those baggers who have come from abroad are really needy people or are here to serve other purpose,” he said. Mohmand suggested that if the foreign baggers are really needy people, then they should be taken to refugee camps, otherwise they should be expelled.

“Hitherto, no survey has been conducted to find out the exact number of beggars in Afghanistan. However, three of each nine street children are beggars,” he said adding that there were around 1.2 million street working children. He blamed insecurity and other social issues for poverty across the country, which eventually leads to begging.

“A commission comprised of the MoLSA, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and other concerned organizations have devised a new policy to provide food, shelter and education to the beggars. Implementation of this drive requires 51 million Afghanis,” he went on as saying.

He also stressed on establishment of a mechanism to improve charity disbursements for the poorest.

“Absence of coordination among national and international institutions working for children’s welfare has also marred efforts to help child beggars,” Mohmand said.

Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Muzhgan Mustafawi, expressed concerns that the young girls bagging on streets are prone to misuse.

Mr. Koshan, a representative of the ARCS, said that it is very hard to distinguish the needy people from professional beggars. “There was a beggar who was ready to give 1000afs bribe to be allowed to beg,” he added. He said that many beggars escape the welfare homes established by the ARCS. He said that despite lack of sufficient budget, the ARCS is ready to support the drive to provide shelter, food and education to beggars.

Frishta, 30 who is begging in the city said that “I am begging to feed my four children”.

She said that my husband is addicted to drug.

It is pertained to mention that ARCS in cooperation with the relevant organs had started campaigns of providing shelter, food and education to the beggars from in 2009- 2011. Around 4620 beggars including 348 children benefited from the drive. Later, the drive came to a halt due to lack of sufficient budget.

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