Essay for Media and Society Seminars 1 Beggars Of Hyderabad.

Beggars of Hyderabad
According to the union of concerned scientists an average American is exposed to 3000 advertisement messages. An average of 850 films is released in India every year. We often hear similarstatistics from different survey reports and organizations, but have you ever thought the average number of beggars we see each day and the statistics of their economy? Most of us have some preconceived notions about the beggars, their lifestyle, economics etc. This essay tries to demystify some of those preconceived notions and tries to peek into the realities of their lives. This essay deals with various aspects like the statistics, economics, livelihood and lifestyle, human trafficking, drug peddling etc. Study and the statistics The Hyderabad Council of Human Welfare (HCHW) conducted a study on understanding the economics of beggary in the Twin-cities. After atwo yearlong survey, the results were released in a book titled µBeggars in Hyderabad-A Study on Understanding the Economics of Beggary in Hyderabad-An Insight into Rehabilitation Possibilities (2008)¶.HCHW director and author Mohammed Rafiuddin says there were 73,00,000 beggars across India who earn as much as Rs 180 crore ayear and the number of beggars in Hyderabad is 11,000 approx. with a total earning of Rs 15 crore a year. Of them, 53 per cent earn between Rs 900 and Rs 2,400 per month. The per capita income of beggars was Rs 41 per day out of which 33 per cent was spent on entertainment, personal habits, including drugs, and only 20 per cent on food. According to the study 33% of the beggars of twin cities are part timers and mostly comprise of agricultural laborthat come to city during summers and draught times. Exploitation According to available statistics 40% beggars are women and about 23% are children below 14 year age. Organized begging has become the new trend in twin cities in last few years.There were many cases reported on Drug peddling and consumption, Mafia networks dealing illegal organ and blood selling business, prostitutionfrom these communities. These syndicates force woman beggars into prostitution and are sexually abuse.According to Mrs. Archana Kiran a social activist who works with an NGO there were instances where mafia

Essay for Media and Society Seminars 2 Beggars Of Hyderabad. networks and syndicatesinvolving child beggarsin drug pedaling. During her work with Aaasa State Govt. initiative on HIV/AIDS she has noticed that the child beggars were lured with Biryani packets, Marijuana etc. and were sexually exploited. We heard similar kind of stories when we tried to interact with a few families stay at BodaUppal area of Hyderabad. While giving his account a child beggar named Ratna Babu from tells us that there are about 450 beggar families that stay in Boda Uppal area itself. Apart from these there were some reports about woman run syndicates that gather infant children from slums and rent them to beggars on charge of 15ors per day. These syndicates collect an average commission ranging from 45 Rs to 110 Rs for each infant kid they rent for one day. This makes us recall a dialogue from Slum dog Millionaire µa crying kid in the hands of a beggar fetches double money¶. The other side of the story ³The above all is one side of the coin on the other side there is some lakhs of Rs turnover´ says Mohammed Rafiuddin, the director of HCHW. Rituraj Sapkota a young documentary film maker from Hyderabad who produced a documentary on Beggars of Hyderabad with title ³Kings of the road´ says that he has interacted with some of the richest beggars of Hyderabad. According to him there were fulltime beggars who own multistoried buildings, smoke costly cigarettes and also do money lending. In fact we were shocked when he hands out a few photographs of some beggars who come to begging location on scooters, park them in nearbycycle stand and get into the business.³If we observe the official statics the richest beggar earns more than Rs 9000 a month and real figure are even more´, he adds. Support from Govt. There are about 15 NGOs that work on these issues spread out in different parts of the city. These organizations carry out various activities ranging from providing alternate livelihood, providing educational facilities to child beggars, Medical facilities, sleeping shelters etc. State govt. has taken up some welfare activities like providing shelters to sleep, providing alternate lively hood etc. Greater Hyderabad Municipality went a step ahead and recruited 2500 beggars as sweepers, garbage collectors and parking fee collecting agents. The major drawback in

Essay for Media and Society Seminars 3 Beggars Of Hyderabad. Governmental schemes according to the social activists is that all Govt. schemes assume that poverty as main cause for begging which is actually not in the real context. Most of the beggars own acres of agriculture lands in their native places. Natural disasters like draught, floods etc. has resulted in their migration to Hyderabad as beggars. Some of them were even victims of human trafficking and organized begging. Rehabilitation possibilities Before devising new rehabilitation plans and schemes it is important to study the pitfalls of the existing ones. The new rehabilitation plans should address something more than their financial poverty like retaining their dignity, human trafficking, organized begging etc. Police department has to act tough towards the Mafia and syndicates that encourage begging to use it as a shield for their illegal activities. Child beggars are to be identified, counseled and are to be admitted in welfare hostels run by state govt. providing alternate livelihood by setting us small scale industries, recruiting them as contract labor in various industries. Take steps to reduce the new migrants in to city this can be done with effective natural disaster management programs. Proper implementation of rural employment scheme can reduce migrants and part time beggars. NGOs and Corporates can be pitched in a various levels. It is important to address the root cause and devise proper remedy to eradicate beggary instead of showing them away from cities using force.

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