Surkhet, January 18
Karnali has been declared a beggar-free province. Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi made the announcement at a programme in Surkhet’s Birendranagar today.
“I declare Karnali a province without any helpless, destitute people beseeching help or anything. This means that fromnow on the plight of people begging on the roads and streets has ended in the province,” said the CM.
“Anyone, if living by begging on the roads and streets due to one or the other reason will now be taken care of. The government will manage food, clothes and shelter for those people from now onwards,” he said, calling on all to help the government in its campaign.
CM Shahi and Social Development Minister Dal Rawal jointly signed the declaration paper at the programme today.
Upon receiving the document from the CM, provincial principal Secretary Kewal Prasad Bhandari expressed his commitment to implement the declaration.
At the programme, Secretary Bhandari said the announcement was a step towards ensuring the fundamental right of the people. “It’s good to hear that from now onwards no one will be found on the street or roads begging for help or money,” he said, adding that a group will monitor the implementation of the announcement.
As per the campaign leading to today’s declaration, the government had rescued a number of people living on the road from different districts.
Some 50 persons thus rescued from different places are now being kept at a government-funded shelter — Manab Sewa Ashram — run in Birendranagar-12 of Surkhet.
“We had rescued a total of 150 persons from roads from different districts. Of them 100 have been handed over to their kin,” said Social Development Ministry Secretary Dr Man
Bahadur BK, adding that a meeting of the cabinet of
the province on December 24 had taken a decision to make the province free of beggars and destitutes.
Surkhet’s main religious site — Gangamala Deuti Bajyai temple — has also been made free of beggars. While those who used to beg for financial assistance or any other help on the temple premises and didn’t have any guardian or family have been brought to Birendranagar, others who had their guardians and families were handed over to their families.
A version of this article appears in print on January 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.