We do not just `hit and run ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Handling vagrants and beggars, locally known as "gepeng," is a long-term program to be implemented by setting up permanent housing for them, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa stated here on Thursday.

"It is a long-term program. The Ministry of Social Affairs is in a position to provide them permanent housing. We do not just hit and run, or raid them, but we relocate them to their area of origin, and we build permanent housing for them in those locations," the minister remarked.

Parawansa noted that the handling of gepeng will be undertaken through the so-called "My Village is Awaiting" program according to which the regional government will allocate the land and the Ministry of Social Affairs will build permanent housing with public facilities.

According to the minister, the program has been implemented in the cities of Yogyakarta, Malang, and Pasuruan in East Java, and now, Padang city in West Sumatra is also prepared to implement it.

"The gepeng in these cities have been given skill-based training, and their creative products have even been introduced in the markets, so it is expected that they will no longer return to the streets," she explained.

Further, the social affairs minister affirmed that this issue should be addressed permanently, but the local governments cooperation would be required to prevent gepeng from going to big cities to earn a living by begging.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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