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General News Sat, 1 Sep 2018

Removing beggars off the streets difficult - Minister

Deputy Gender Minister Gifty Twum-Ampofo has bemoaned the giving of alms to beggars’ especially disabled persons.

"Ghanaians always sympathize with people and we overdo that. So I want to appeal to the public; let’s stop giving alms to people with disabilities on the street,” she claimed.

The act, she lamented, has given an impression to these persons that, the only way to make a living is through begging.

However, we are empowering them to have a change of mind and give them the necessary support through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, thus it is needless to give them money. She has therefore appealed to Ghanaians to desist from doing so to allow authorities remove beggars off the street.

“Most persons with disabilities (PWDs) are on LEAP support, but occasionally you find some of them on our streets begging for alms. And sometimes when you confront them, they tell you that they are on LEAP but will continue to beg for alms.

“[This is] not because we do not care about them, but we want to discourage people from giving alms to people with disabilities on the road because when they do that, they sort of serve as role models for children with disabilities. So they think that once you are a child and you have disabilities, once the adults are begging for alms, the child should also beg for alms,” the Deputy Gender Minister added.

She was speaking to Rainbow Radio’s Afia Kwarteng at the dialogue on implementing the 'Inclusive Education Policy', The dialogue on the implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy for children with disability was organized by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to engage stakeholders on how best education can be made easy and accessible to children with disabilities.

The event, held at the Fiesta Royale hotel, featured presentations from the Director of the Special Education Unit under the Education Ministry, Mrs Amina Achiaa, Executive Director of the Ghana Blind Union, Dr. Obeng Asamoah as well as a representative from Inclusive Ghana.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com