On Thursday, over 45 young youngsters will leave behind their lives as beggars and march on the Vidhan Sabha Marg as part of a Republic Day procession.
According to a representative of a local NGO that was instrumental in helping the kids escape their impoverished existence, "These youngsters who would be taking part in the procession have come out from begging."
Mahi, a nine-year-old citizen of Lucknow's Chinhat neighborhood, is one of them. Now, she wants to be a doctor.
She told PTI, referring to her elders, "I shall be doing a dance along with my didis."
The kids who will participate in the procession, according to Balbir Singh, the NGO Ummeed's founder and secretary, have emerged from beggaring.
"For the previous eight to twelve months, we had interaction with them. In essence, our goal was to foster a sense of self-respect and self-prestige. These youngsters received exposure. They were brought to the Raj Bhavan, where they spoke with the Lucknow District Magistrate, the Divisional Commissioner, and the Municipal Commissioner "He spoke to PTI.
When they visited these locations, Singh said that "their self-esteem was aroused, and even the parents of these kids helped them to get rid of beggarly."
Singh said that attempts are being made by the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Ummeed to rescue kids from begging and integrate them into society.
Inderjeet Singh, the Lucknow Municipal Commissioner, said to PTI, "These kids, who are marching in the parade for the first time, used to beg and are now marching in the Republic Day procession. The youngsters are quite enthusiastic. This is a novel idea. Anandiben Patel, the governor of Uttar Pradesh, has lately addressed these kids." The "SMILE — Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise" national-level umbrella program was developed by the Union ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 'Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons' and 'Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons involved in the Act of Begging' are two of its sub-schemes.
This overarching plan would include a number of extensive initiatives, such as assistance programs for both transgender people and beggars.
Aditya, a member of the contingent who is 16 years old, expressed excitement at being a part of the Republic Day parade for the first time.
Preeti (14), who wants to be a police officer, said her parents are thrilled because she is doing what they could only imagine.
Kishna, who was 10 years old, held up the tricolor with assurance. Now he could dream. He said, "I want to be a dancer." "Prabhu Deva is an inspiration to me." His pal Ritik aspires to be a dancer as well.