LAHORE - The government has launched an anti-beggary campaign, recovering 11 adults and 28 child beggars from different areas of the provincial capital yesterday.

A Child Protection and Welfare Bureau spokesman told The Nation that it was this month’s first grand operation under Anti-Beggary Campaign, which was conducted successfully in collaboration with CDGL and Police.

According to the spokesman, the rescue operation was conducted in Iqbal Town’s Kareem Block Market and Moon Market; Johar Town’s Shaukat Khanam Chowk and G-1 Market; Akbar Chowk; and Model Town Link Road. The child beggars were shifted to the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau homes while the adult were shifted to the CDGL’s Beggar Home located at Raiwind Road.

The anti-beggary campaign was launched last year, and from January to March 2016 the Bureau recovered 270 boys and 102 girls from Lahore.

To a query, a bureau official said that data of beggars’ presence in towns fluctuate as the professionals keep on changing their designated areas suspecting official raids.

“It has been observed that repeated raids in some areas prevent the gangs of baggers to make strongholds at traffic signals and neighbouring roads. The strong networks of gangs that have been established in the provincial capital lure runaway children are the toughest targets to counter by the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau,” the official told The Nation.

“There are different kinds of beggars: direct and indirect beggars where children sell flowers, wipe screens of vehicles at traffic signals. The CPWB will counter all kinds of beggary,” the official added.

“We will continue the anti-beggary campaign to uproot this menace from the province,” said Fatima Sheikh, DG Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. “On the special directions Punjab Government, we are actively taking forward this drive against beggary,” she added.