Hyderabad: In order to make Telangana 'beggar-free', the state's Prisons Department has implemented a new initiative for rewarding anyone who spots a beggar in the city and informs officials with Rs 500.
The initiative was launched by the K Chandrasekhar Rao government last year.
In a press release, the Telangana State Prisons Department (TSPD) had earlier stated that its initiative aims at rehabilitating beggars, especially in Hyderabad, and making the state 'beggar-free'.
So far, eight people have claimed the cash after spotting beggars and handed them over to concerned department staff.
"We started a home for the beggars on October 28, 2017. Two structures were made one to confine male beggars in Chanchalguda and the other Charlapalli for female beggars," A Narsimha, Inspector General, TSPD, told ANI.
"Within a span of three months we have picked up two thousand beggars from various places. Out of them, 1500 are male and 500 female. Many have also been released to their homes after further intervention and investigation. Only after stern warning there are being sent home and if they come across the second time on the streets then would be put in jail and a case would be registered," he added.
"Prisons Department has oriented itself into a high-end social service organisation. It takes care of the last rung of the society, ie, beggars,'' a TSPD press release said.
The TSPD has so far shifted 316 male beggars and 164 female beggars to the Anand Ashram in Chanchalguda. Out of this, 261 male and 140 female beggars were set free following assurances that they would not resort to begging again.
The beggars were released after taking their fingerprints and photos, besides an undertaking from them.
The undertaking says if a person is caught begging again in the city, he would be arrested under Prevention of Begging Act 1977 with an imprisonment ranging from six months to five years.
The TSDP also appealed to people to call on the numbers - 040-24511791 and 040-24527846 - to report begging activity.
The crackdown on beggars began in October last year ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that was hosted in the city.
The GES was attended by several dignitaries and foreign delegates including Advisor to the US President, Ivanka Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.