Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar on Saturday launched the Central sector scheme ‘SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise’ aimed to provide welfare and rehabilitation to the transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging.
The umbrella scheme is designed by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“As a progressive and developing society, it is our duty to respect the identity and dignity of all sections of society. The Ministry has ensured that each and every need of transgender community and persons engaged in the act of begging are taken care of in most professional way,” the Union Minister said.
“The provision of national portal and helpline will provide necessary information and solutions to the problems of the transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging,” he added.
The two sub-schemes of SMILE – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Engaged in the Act of Begging’ – provide comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation measures to the Transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging.
The Ministry has allocated Rs 365 crore for the scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26 for the social security that is needed through multiple dimensions of identity, medical care, education, occupational opportunities and shelter, a statement from the Ministry said.
The sub-scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’- includes various components such as scholarships for transgender students studying in IX and till post-graduation.
It also has provisions for Skill Development and Livelihood under the PM-DAKSH scheme.
Through Composite Medical Health, it provides a comprehensive package in convergence with PM-JAY supporting Gender-Reaffirmation surgeries through selected hospitals.
Similarly, the Housing facility in the form of ‘Garima Grih’ ensures food, clothing, recreational facilities, skill development opportunities, recreational activities, and medical support to the transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging.
The provision of Transgender Protection Cell in each state will monitor cases of offences and to ensure timely registration, investigation, and prosecution of offences. The National Portal and Helpline will provide necessary information and solutions to the transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging when needed.
Meanwhile the sub-scheme – ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’ – will focus on survey and identification, mobilisation, rescue/ shelter home and comprehensive resettlement.
Besides, pilot projects have been initiated on comprehensive rehabilitation in 10 cities namely Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Ahmedabad, the release added.