Mangaluru’s 3 decades old Beggars’ Rehabilitation Centre has plenty of life transformation stories to tell

Chetana Nayak K
March 15, 2019

A host of home-grown vegetables welcome the visitors at Beggars’ Rehabilitation Centre (BRC) at Pachanady in Vamanjoor on the outskirts of the coastal city of Mangaluru. Once barren land with laterite rocks, today the 2-acre land boasts of its lush-green vegetation across its one-acre landscape. Brinjal, Coriander, Drumstick, Green chilli, Pumpkin, Spinach, Mint leaves, Jackfruit, Mango; are among the several vegetables that the inmates have raised with their labour.

"Although, it was initially a challenge to motivate them, now most of them, either through self motivation or inspired by others have taken to cultivation on their own. They tend to the crops as their own and use it for self-consumption," Ashok, in-charge of BRC said.

Besides vegetation, the Centre ensures that inmates do not spend their time idling. Beyond the normal rest or sleeping hours, the inmates are involved in pre-seeding work, tilling the soil, watering the soil beds, preparing organic manure, timely harvesting and gardening.

While some of the woman inmates engage in agriculture, they also involve in envelope making, crafts, early morning walks, exercise or at least their routine chores such as washing their own clothes.

Well educated, hailing from an affluent family, with two brothers employed in reputed banks, Anupama* (28) had everything she had asked for. But in an unfortunate turn of events, the sudden demise of her parents few years ago, Anupama found herself roaming around the streets of Pandeshwar in Mangaluru.

Beyond recognition, begging for food with pedestrians, she would sleep on the streets and roam about aimlessly. Reported by the local residents in 2014, Anupama’s plight caught attention of the jurisdictional Pandeshwar police, who shifted her to BRC.

In a span of one year, Anupama, who formerly found solace in anonymity and in begging alms, today has become a tailor. She came out of the BRC and eked out her living through tailoring. Anupama also slapped legal cases against her brothers who had allegedly cheated her of property. “She currently owns a property in Karkala, with bank deposits bequeathed in her name by her mother,” her case officer adds.

Another, Ramesh*, an electronics and electrical engineer from Chennai addicted to drinking and drug abuse had abandoned his family. He was brought to BRC that kicked-out his alcohol habit. Now working in an MNC, Ramesh is back on top of his game and works for a multinational company in Chennai.

BRC that began in 1991 under Karnataka Social Welfare Department today has grown to be one of the most trusted of the 14 Centre’s in the state.

Upon the identification of an individual as a destitute or a beggar, Mangaluru City Commissioner (MCC), Taluk court, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taluk Panchayat, District level officer(s), and jurisdictional Police Sub-Inspector are empowered to detain and surrender destitute/beggars at the Centre.

In-charge of BRC, Ashok says that the Centre’s team and staff guard travel around their respective districts and identify the beggars and bring them to the court within 24 hours. As per the current provisions, they can house a beggar for one-year. During which, through a series of vocational and counseling sessions, it can encourage a destitute to quit begging and live independently. “Once the Centre is reassured of their skills, the Centre informs their family members and requests to take them back. In the absence of the family, the member is referred to a government aided Centre.” Ashok said.

Over the year, BRC has aggregated destitute from different parts of the country in its Mangaluru Centre. "Since, Mangalore Central Railway Station is the last station in the region, majority of them de-board the train here and venture into the city. Most of our inmates are from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh," a BRC official says.

A team of psychiatrists, doctors, skin specialists, who visit once in 15-days, have the mandate to ensure that the inmates are hale and healthy. Over the years, for about 137 destitute in Dakshina Kannada, BRC has become a haven for transformation; Owing to alcohol, substance abuse, financial stress and family issues, these inmates who had once resorted to begging today claim of confidence to thrive with their abilities.

Comments

Ann Pinto
 - 
Thursday, 9 May 2019

Thanks to coastal digest for publishing such articles and showing the positive change brought about by BRC so that these people can live a dignified life with the skills they they are taught..

SD
 - 
Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019

Wow! Impressed May God bless all involved in making the beggers life easy.The general principle of alleviating poverty by facilitating self-sufficiency has a long history

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News Network
February 23,2021

Kerala Demands That Karnataka Opens Border at Kasargod-Mangaluru: It has  been more than 3 days since Karnataka government restricted passage of  goods & vehicles

Kasaragod, Feb 23: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday requested the urgent intervention of the Centre on the new COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Karnataka government on the entry of people from the state.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said many people including students, trucks carrying essential commoditiesand patients going for medical treatment were put to "undue hardship" at the state borders due to this.

He also brought to the PM's notice that imposing restrictions of inter-state movement of people by states is contrary to the instructions of the government of India.

"I request your urgent intervention in this matter so that hardship of people from Kerala travelling to the neighbouring state of Karnataka can be avoided," Vijayan said.

With the Karnataka government reinstating stricter control of transit passengers from Kerala in view of increasing COVID-19 positive cases, people bound to Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada from here for various purposes, including medical needs and studies, were in a fix.

Long queues of vehicles could be seen in the border areas since Monday as Karnataka authorities sealed many roads, including national highways and restricted entry only for those with COVID-19 negative certificates.

The Dakshina Kannada authorities sealed all borders from Monday, except four to cross over, sources said.

According to Karnataka officials at the borders,those who wished to enter the state have to produce COVID-19 negative certificates through an RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to their cross over time.

Health and police personnel are on duty at the four borders, viz. Talapady in Mangalore taluk, Saradka in Bantwal, Nettanige-Mudnuru in Puttur taluk and Jalsoor in Sullia, to verify and allow people's entry into Karnataka.

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News Network
February 28,2021

Mangaluru, Feb 28: Minister of State for Primary & Secondary Education Suresh Kumar said here on Sunday that the academic year 2020-21 was a very challenging as the COVID-19 has disrupted the whole education system and still it is uncertain when the schools will reopen and life becomes normal.

Speaking after inaugurating Reshma Memorial Auditorium at Shakthi Campus, he said it is good that the teachers have found an alternative of Vidyagama and online classes, saving the students from wasting the whole year.

He requested the educators and the parents to create social awareness and social responsibility in the minds of students rather than insisting in marks alone.

He quoted the effort of teacher Nirmala, responsible for the success of Anjanappa hailing from the rural background who scored 92 pc in SSLC, 131 rank in CET, 91 rank in JEE and today pursuing his studies at IIT Mumbai.

Vedavyas Kamath, MLA Mangaluru south, who was also present, said, "Life is a race no doubt but passing in life is utmost important than winning a race."

He shared his views on the 17 crore swimming pool project coming up in Yemmekere for the public as a part of the smart city project.

Sri Mahabaleshwar, chairman Karnataka Bank, quoted the four strong pillars that make up a school, namely the students, teachers, parents and the management. The co-ordination of all the four is very vital, failure to which the consequence is uncertain, he said.

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Agencies
February 28,2021

Karnataka To Move To Centre Against Tamil Nadu Cauvery Linking Project

Bengaluru, Feb 28: Karnataka is readying itself to wage a legal battle in the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu's ambitious Cauvery-Vellaru-Vaigai-Gundar river linking project, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai said here on Friday.

Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami had laid the foundation stone for the Rs 14,400 crore, 262 km river-linking project, which will divert 6,300 cubic feet of surplus water during floods and increase the groundwater levels in the state's southern districts to meet drinking water needs.

Addressing mediapersons after a series of meetings with legal experts and concerned officials along with Major and Medium Irrigation Minister Ramesh Jarakiholi here, Bommai asserted that Tamil Nadu's inter-linking river project is against the interests of Karnataka, and the state government will oppose it strongly in all fora.

"Tamil Nadu is trying to utilise surplus 45 Tmcft of water. This is against Karnataka's interest. As there is no legal provision to utilise this surplus water, hence Tamil Nadu's project itself is illegally conceived," he said.
He added that surplus water has not been shared between the states officially or legally, so taking up the project in such a situation is not right.

"This project is not in accordance with the Interstate River Water Disputes Act. According to the Act, surplus water should also be adjudicated and the tribunal has to decide on it. So this project is against the law. Therefore, this is a fit case to oppose in the apex court," Bommai said.

He alleged that it has been proved beyond doubt in many cases in the past that Tamil Nadu has been acting in a prejudiced manner for over 400 years.

Jarkiholi also asserted that Karnataka has decided to respond legally and politically to Tamil Nadu's river linking project.

Bommai further alleged that Tamil Nadu had started the Hogenakkal project without taking any permission, and now they have launched the Cauvery-Vellaru-Vaigai-Gundar linking project.

"Surplus water needs to be shared between the states, this is the fundamental principle. Whatever they are doing is against this principle, as they are indicating their claim over surplus water. We strongly oppose and condemn this and have decided to fight it legally," he said.

The minister further said that Tamil Nadu had objected when Karnataka sought allocation for a drinking water project for Bengaluru, besides opposing several projects in the Cauvery basin, including plans to modernise or repair a 300-400 year-old dam and carry out modernisation of canal projects that are in bad condition.

Rebutting both the opposition parties' allegations, Bommai said that there was no delay in taking action against the Tamil Nadu project. "Where is the question of going soft on Tamil Nadu? Protecting our state's interests is paramount for us. They may have elections or some other compulsions, but that cannot come in the way of protecting our interests. Opposition parties are levelling baseless allegations," he said.

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