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The Beggars of Igoeti Village Become Coin Catchers

Poverty begets poverty, and the predicament of these beggars doesn't seem to improve even after 16 years

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Woman beggar, Guanajuato. Wikimedia

July 23, 2017: Igoeti, a village lying 40 kilometers northwest of Tbilisi has now seen its beggars turning into coin catchers, using magnetic sticks to collect coins tossed by motorists passing through it. Each type of coin, as the beggars say, makes a distinctive sound when it hits the road. “I neither have a home nor electricity, what else should I do? Since 2000, I’ve been coming here and begging for money” said the fuming old lady collecting coins through her stick.

“The one-lari coin sounds like a bell to me, the two-lari coin makes a thudding sound when it hits the road while the 50 tetri has a more thin and pleasant sound,” said an old male beggar. It was also seen that differentiating between coins is a left-hand game for these beggars. Tramps here are clever enough to not get deceived by people giving them counterfeit coins. “Counterfeit coins are made of aluminum and I can recognize those ones.” said a sharp witted middle aged male beggar.

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Data from Georgian Statistics establishes that 12% of Georgians are unemployed with no minimum wage and an average monthly salary of $400. Timings between 10 am to 7 pm is found to be their most crucial time of earning, after that it’s pointless since the influx of cars declines and there is no traffic to be seen on the roads. Their plight is evident in the way they are seen the whole day roaming beside the road changing places with other tramps to get a penny to feed their family.

Also Read: India home to over 4,13,670 beggars 

“I might make up to 10 Lari $4 per day, but how can I collect more, when they are so many of us having an eagle eye for the coin?” said a tired middle aged lady beside the road. Some beggars are seen here every day while some have an erratic presence, as mentioned by an old guy. “If I find work, I go there, on other days, I am standing here, what better thing can I do right now?”. Poverty begets poverty, and the predicament of these beggars doesn’t seem to improve even after 16 years.

-Prepared by Tusheeta Kaushik of Newsgram

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About 98 Percent of Beggars in the city are Fake, says Municipal Body of Hyderabad

On an average, a beggar earns Rs 1,000-2,000 per day, operating with an annual income of more than Rs 24 lakhs

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Begging in India. Image source: theindiansociety.org
  • Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has launched a drive to turn Hyderabad into a “Beggar Free” city 
  • Most beggars in the city are part of an organised racket
  • The civic body is also asking the citizens of Hyderabad not to give alms to the beggars

When Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s package of Rs. 10,000 was rejected by the beggars last year, in 2015, one could not help but wonder how much these beggars earn. The Chief Minister wanted to keep Pushkaram Ghats in Rajahmundry free of beggars and offered them Rs. 10,000 and had decided to provide them food so that they would not crowd at the ghats but the offer was declined by nearly 300 beggars.

Now, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has launched a drive to turn Hyderabad into a “Beggar Free” city by providing a permanent solution to the beggars. But 98 percent of the 14,000-strong population of beggars in the city, with the annual income of more than Rs 24 crore are categorised as “fake beggars” by the civic body. Most beggars in the city are part of an organised racket, the Corporation maintains and indulge in illegal activities under the guise of begging.

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“We are ready to help the genuine beggars. But people who have chosen begging as a profession and are doing illegal activities will be punished by law. We are starting a toll-free number for people to complain if they face any nuisance from beggars. If you find any beggar, bring them to us and we will take care of them,” said Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Ram Mohan to Scroll.in.

Scroll. in quoted a survey that states- on an average, a beggar earns Rs 1,000-2,000 per day, operating with an annual income of more than Rs 24 lakhs. “People of other states are joining these beggars to commit crimes. These beggars are into drugs, prostitution and money lending. They are spoiling the city,” claimed B Shankar Narayanan, General Secretary of Federation of NGOs of Beggar Free Society.

In an attempt to help the genuine beggars, the municipal corporation appeals them to register themselves for rehabilitation and promises food and shelter. They are also promising training for those who want to work, school enrollment for children and a place to stay for the elderly in old age homes.

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The civic body is also asking the citizens of Hyderabad not to give alms to the beggars. “Beggars are not leaving their profession because people give money in temples and mosques due to their sentiments. In our roadshows, we say: ‘Not only punish the beggars who are begging also punish the people who are giving. said Narayana to Scroll.in.

Image Source: climateage.wordpress.com

Several discussions are being held to provide alms and work to the beggars. One such plan is to ask all the visitors to temples not to give money to the beggars but rather drop it in the ‘hundi’. The beggars registered with the temple will receive money from the ‘hundi’ accordingly. “We are going to catch all the beggars – they have to give their addresses. If they have a family, we will send them back and we will send genuine beggars to rehabilitation centres,” said Narayanan.

The 2,500 Sulabh toilets are coming up in the city that could provide employment to these beggars and could also help build the city. There are only a few toilets in the city and they too lack the manpower to maintain them. Employment to 2,500 people with an income of Rs 200 per day can be generated by this initiative, reported Scroll.

-This report is modified by Ajay Krishna, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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3 responses to “About 98 Percent of Beggars in the city are Fake, says Municipal Body of Hyderabad”

  1. There are people in dire need of someone who’ll extend the hand and then there are some shouting ‘ ayye salman khan’. The ones in dire need wont refuse a package of Rs. 10,000

  2. Due to their business, people will not help those who are really in need. If MCD knows this, they should do something to curb this.

  3. These organised units should realize what is good for them keeping the future in mind. Instead of exploiting the good nature of the people, they should try to find some work and accept what the government is offering them.

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Mangla Bank: India’s first bank run by beggars, of beggars, for beggars

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

If one has to learn the benefits of banking, it is from these beggars in Bihar who have started their own bank, which they operate to provide financial assistance to fellow beggars.

The bank named as Mangla Bank is situated at Gaya town near Maa ‘Maa Manglagauri Mandir, where these beggars seek alms.

“It is true that we have established a bank for ourselves,” told Raj Kumar Manjhi to a news agency, one of the 40 beggars who are members of this unique “bank”.

“Bank’s manager, treasurer and secretary along with one agent and other member, who are running and managing it, are all beggars,” reported IANS.

Manjhi, who is literate enough to manage the accounts and other works of the bank, said: “Each of us (beggars) deposits Rs.20 every Tuesday in the bank that comes to Rs.800 weekly deposit.”

Malti Devi, who is secretary of the bank that was established six months ago, said: “It began last year with a big hope and to fulfill aspirations of beggars. We are still not treated well in the society because we are poorest of the poor.”

The beggars were encouraged to start their own bank by officials of State Society for Ultra Poor and Social Welfare last year.