Hyderabad beggars earn Rs.150 mn annually, survey shows

October 9th, 2008 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 9 (IANS) Hyderabad has 11,000 beggars who collectively earn Rs.150 million per annum through alms, a study has revealed.At least one beggar here earns close to Rs.4,000 per month, while 53 per cent of the beggars earn between Rs.900 and Rs.2,400 per month, says the study by Mohammed Rafiuddin, director of the Hyderabad Council of Human Welfare.

His book “Beggars in Hyderabad” was released Thursday by Shanta Sinha, chairperson of the National Commission for Children’s Welfare. The book is based on his two-and-a-half-year long survey.

According to the study, the per capita income of Hyderabad’s beggars is Rs.41 per day.

Rafiuddin said that 33 per cent of the beggars in Hyderabad were part-timers, while the rest were full-timers. The part-time beggars include farmers who come to the city during droughts.

“Though the beggars earn as much as Rs.15 crore (Rs.150 million) per annum, even this huge amount is not able to improve their condition as this charity and assistance is scattered and disorganized,” Rafiuddin said.

According to Rafiuddin, India has a staggering 730,000 beggars who earn Rs.1.8 billion per annum through alms.

Speaking on the occasion, Shanta Sinha said beggars would get dignity only if they were integrated into the social and political processes. She said if the society has an organised system of charity and providing assistance to needy people, a lot of work could be done for the welfare of the beggars.

“When the majority of the people in a society escape from their responsibility, the problem of begging increases”, she maintained.

Commissioner of Fisheries Arvind Kumar, who had initiated a programme for the rehabilitation of beggars when he was district collector of Hyderabad, said though begging in punishable offence under the law, as long as people gave money, begging would continue.

He revealed that beggars spend only 20 percent of their earnings on food and 30 percent on habits like drugs and save 50 percent.

He said no country in the world was free of beggars.

“I have seen beggars in large numbers even in New York. But, contrary to Indian beggars, the beggars in American cities are more dangerous as they become violent and start fighting with the people. Begging is also a problem in Latin America and Africa,” he added.

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