No fewer than 50 beggars and out-of-school children were on Tuesday cleared from streets of Awka and its environs by Anambra State Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in synergy with Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA), Brigade.
The locations where the raid were carried out included Arroma, Regina Ceali Junction, UNIZIK Temporary Site, Kwata Junction, Amawbia Bypass, Eke Awka Market, among others.
Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo said the move was to sanitize the state, pave way for easy flow of traffic, as well as rescue out-of-school children to achieve present administration’s clean, green and sustainable megacity agenda.
She regretted increaing rate of children who hawk within Awka and beyond, with other evidences of child labour and exploitations contradicting Child’s Rights Law which the State is a signatory to.
While restating government’s stance on child labour in any guise, the Commissioner warned that any child seen at school hours during week days would be taken and sent to school.
Some of the beggars, Uju Obie, Afam Nweke and Ifeoma Chukwu who spoke to reporters said hardship and lack of assistance led them into begging as they could not fend for their children.
They promised to quit begging if assistance could be rendered to them to start up some businesses and put their children back to school.
Some passersby, Messers Dozie Obionwu and Emeka Adiene, commended government for its efforts in restoring sanity in the capital city and also encouraged it to sustain the measure in order to save the future of the children