Can't take elitist view on begging: SC
The Supreme Court on 27 July 2021 said begging is a socio-economic problem and it cannot ban it by taking an elitist view as beggars are forced to take to streets to eke out a living due to lack of education and employment. A bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice M R Shah issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on a petition by advocate Kush Kalra seeking vaccination and rehabilitation of homeless, beggars and vagabonds amid Covid-19 pandemic across India.
- The reason why people are required to take to the streets to beg is to eke out elementary livelihood in the absence of education and employment.
- It is a social-economic problem and cannot be remedied in this way, the bench said.
- Referring to a plea by the petitioner to restrain people from begging on the streets, the bench asked him, "Why do people beg on the street? It is due to poverty.
- As the Supreme Court, we will not take an elitist view. They have no choice. Nobody wants to beg.
- This is a wider issue of social welfare policy from the government, we can’t say that keep them away from our eyes, the bench said.
- However, the court asked the Centre and Delhi government to inform about steps being taken to deal with this human problem and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.
- The court said beggars, vagabonds, homeless were entitled to medical facilities as others as they were vulnerable in context of Covid-19 pandemic.