Ministry works on better care for beggars, says Kiran

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Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Sashi Kiran speaks to women during the International Womens Day Breakfast at the GPH in Suva.Picture:ATU RASEA

THE Poverty Alleviation Ministry has completed profiling activities for beggars in towns and cities across the country. Assistant Minister Sashi Kiran said the completion of this exercise had allowed the ministry to work on suitable and long-term solutions that could provide a better footing for the homeless.

“So we already know the numbers of beggars and each in each town; Nadi, Lautoka and Suva has a much bigger number,” she said.

“And then we have glue sniffing and the younger children that are there on the streets.

“I know it’s taking us longer, but we’ve profiled, we’ve met the teams that are visiting these people and obviously if we take them back to their house, they mostly they run away for different reasons.”

Ms Kiran said they are working with different partners to find longer-term rehabilitation for these Fijians and one of these solutions is the possibility of including education spaces for younger people.

“We are talking to the partners and hopefully within a month we can give you a much more concrete solution.

“But just removing them from streets is not a solution. We need to make sure understand where can they can go and where they have actually care.”

Last year, former Women’s Minister Rosy Akbar indicated that they profiled a total of 100 beggars in Suva alone.

She explained that declining mental health, poverty and neglect continue to be the main reason many of these people preferred the streets as their home.

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