Beggary: Homelessness and Survey Profiles Beggars

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Beggary in India

Associated with the problems of poverty and unemployment is the problem of beggary which is a social problem of great magnitude and grave concern in developing countries. Begging is a problem for society in as much as a large number of beggars means non utilization of available human resources and drag upon the existing resources of the society. According to a recent survey by Delhi School of Social Work there has been a phenomenal increase in the numbers of beggars in India. In a decade since 1991 their number has gone up by a lakh.There are some 60,000 beggars in Delhi, over 3, 00,000 in Mumbai according to a 2004 Action Aid report; nearly 75000 in Kolkata says the Beggar Research Institute; 56000 in Bangalore according to police records. In Hyderabad one in every 354 people is engaged in begging according to Council of Human Welfare in 2005. It is common to find beggars at rubbish dumbs, road sides, and traffic lights and under flyovers. The frail, crippled and mentally ill share space with children, women and able bodied men. The line that separates beggars from the casual poor is getting slimmer in a country where one in every four goes to bed hungry every night and 78 million are homeless. Over 71% of Delhi's beggars are driven by poverty. More than 66% beggars are able -bodied. The survey reveals that begging as a livelihood wins over casual labour. For 96% the average daily income is Rs 80 more than what daily wage earners can make. Spending patterns also reveals a unique pattern: 27% beggars spend Rs 50-100 a day. Mumbai is home to majority of beggars. According to the Maharashtra Government they are worth Rs. 180 crore a year with daily income ranging between Rs 20-80.Almost every survey profiles beggars as a largely contented lot unwilling to take up honest labour. Nearly 26% in the DSSW survey claimed they were happy.81% claimed that they do not face any problem during begging and only 15% mentioned humiliation from public and...
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