Bangladesh plans to eradicate begging within five years

February 6th, 2009 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 5 (Xinhua) The Bangladeshi government is planning to eradicate begging from the country within the next five years, the country’s finance minister said here Thursday. Speaking at a programme of local development organisations, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith said: “We’re keen to eradicate the vice of begging from the country.”

“Hopefully, we could do this within the next five-year tenure of our government by developing socio-economic life status of poor people,” he said.

A few years back, he said, the number of beggers was around 600,000 to 700,000 in the country, which in all probabilities has by now increased.

Beggars are frequently found seeking alms at bus stands, railway stations, markets and near the traffic signals in the Bangladeshi capital, often harrassing pedestrians.

According to local organisation Nari Jibon Development Foundation, most of the beggars are physically challenged.

“We need to develop an integrated model like those in some neighbouring countries to rehabilitate beggars in towns and villages,” Muhith said.

He said a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for training, education and employment for both rural and urban beggars will be formulated soon for implementation through public-private initiatives.

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