Bhubaneswar: Odisha government so far has identified as 6390 beggars in the state, informed Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities minister, Ashok Chandra Panda in the state assembly.
As per official statistics, Cuttack district has the highest number of beggars with 1060 followed by Balangir and Mayurbhanj which have 708 and 485 beggars respectively. Similarly, Deogarh has only 16 beggars, the lowest in the state.
Replying to the question of MLA Prashant Behera in the assembly, the minister said that the government has introduced a scheme called ‘Sahaya’ to rehabilitate and to provide self-employment to the beggars in the state. Under the programme, around 2886 beggars have been provided assistance for livelihoods.
According to Census 2011, Odisha has total 6550 beggars (3850 male and 2700 female) which is second highest in the country after West Bengal’s 13,728. Odisha has more beggars than that in Uttar Pradesh (6003) and Bihar (5276), the Census report said.