Dr. Virendra Kumar, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, launched the Central Sector Scheme “SMILE: Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” today at the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre’s BHIM Auditorium, 15 Janpath Road, New Delhi. The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment created this umbrella scheme to give welfare and rehabilitation to the transgender community and those who engage in begging.
The two sub-schemes of SMILE – the ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and the ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons Engaged in the Act of Begging’ – provide comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation services to the transgender community and those engaged in the act of begging.
Dr. Virendra Kumar stated on the occasion, “As a progressive and evolving society, it is our responsibility to recognize the identity and dignity of all members of society.” The Ministry has guaranteed that the needs of the transgender community and individuals engaged in the act of begging are met in the most professional manner possible.” “The establishment of a National Portal and Helpline would provide crucial information and solutions to the transgender community’s and beggars’ difficulties,” the Union Minister remarked.
Two Sub-Schemes launched under SMILE
SMILE’s two sub-schemes – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of People Engaged in the Act of Begging’ – provide comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation services to the transgender community and people engaged in the act of begging.
The program takes into account the numerous components of social security that are required, including identity, medical care, education, occupational prospects, and shelter. Between 2021-22 and 2025-26, the Ministry has allotted Rs. 365 crore for the scheme.
The Sub-scheme, titled ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons,’ is composed of several components. It gives scholarships to transgender students enrolled in grades IX through post-graduation in order for them to complete their education. Under the PM-DAKSH scheme, it includes provisions for Skill Development and Livelihood. Composite Medical Health offers a full package in collaboration with PM-JAY that facilitates gender reassertion operations at chosen facilities. The housing facility, dubbed ‘Garima Greh,’ provides food, clothing, recreational facilities, skill development opportunities, recreational activities, and medical support to the transgender population and persons who engage in begging.
Each state shall establish a Transgender Protection Cell to monitor and expedite the registration, investigation, and prosecution of violations. When necessary, the National Portal & Helpline will provide necessary information and answers to the transgender community and individuals engaged in begging.
The sub-scheme – ‘Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons Involved in Begging’ – will prioritize survey and identification, mobilization, rescue/shelter home placement, and comprehensive relocation. Additionally, pilot programs on Comprehensive Rehabilitation have been begun in eleven cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, and Ahmedabad.