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Rashmi Rekha Das

Integrated Infrastructure Complex, which was set up in Samablpur district with an aim to rehabilitate elderly persons, transgenders, drug addicts and destitute, seems to have failed to serve its purpose with allegations of common people forcibly being taken to the rehab centre pouring in.

The Complex was inaugurated to make Sambalpur district beggar-free apart from sheltering other needy people. It is alleged that despite not being beggars, many common people are forcibly being taken to the rehab centre against their will. 

Sources said, the Complex was inaugurated at Baijamunda by the State Chief Secretary and the 5-T Secretary to house the destitute who do not have shelter and rehabilitate elderly persons living alone or abandoned by family. They are being fed free of cost.

However, recently, a few inmates were seen running away from the rehab centre. Upon being asked, they divulged startling information with one of them saying, “Though we are not beggars, we were taken here forcibly. Even our family members are not aware of it.”

An elderly couple on Friday left the centre. When asked about the reason behind them leaving the rehab centre, they said, “We are not beggars, We eke out our living by selling papad. On Tuesday, we were forcefully brought here.”

Similarly, another elderly woman who is into begging was brought to the rehab centre against her will even without informing her family.  Her husband came the next day and took his wife with him.

On the other hand, the centre owner said, "There is nothing wrong to bring these people here without informing their respective family members."

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