City has more than 9,600 beggars: Survey

City has more than 9,600 beggars: Survey

Migration makes it difficult to determine actual number of destitutes

The City has well over 9,600 beggars. The exact figures are not known as many of them migrate within the City frequently, according to a survey conducted by the Central Relief Centre (CRC), recently.

headcount: An official from the Social Welfare Department collects information from the inmates of the Beggars’ Colony in the City on Tuesday. dh photo

In order to ensure a systematic procedure to count the beggars in the State, CRC had organised a workshop on ‘Census of Beggars’ here on Tuesday.

K A Ramalingappa, president of CRC, said efforts had been made for an ‘evidence-based census’ through the scientific method of photographing the beggars at their locations.

“We will not be able to reveal all the details as the report has to be first submitted to the court on March 26. On a rough count, there are 9,600 beggars with a maximum number of them in Gandhinagar and Shivajinagar areas,” he added.

He said that students of Masters in Social Work in Bangalore University, anganwadi workers and volunteers from various NGOs had toiled for months to create a database of the beggars in the City.

The survey team has taken pictures of beggars outside temples, mosques, churches and traffic signals.

However, duplication of any individual’s record cannot be ruled out.

Ramalingappa said there were four kinds of beggars. Those who take up begging as a means of earning, which becomes a profession; occasional beggars, who are involved in other activities; permanent beggars, who do not change their profession; and those who are forced into beggary.
One of the workers of the CRC, R Thukaram, said they faced huge inconvenience from the public and the police while taking photographs.

He said at the Sai Baba temple in Padmanabh Nagar many beggars were found on Thursdays.
However, many of them are occasional beggars who appear in front of the temple only to collect huge alms from devotees visiting the temple. But in reality, these beggars are owners of huge properties, he claimed.

Another worker, H Devaraj, said many senior citizens got into beggary due to delay in availing their monthly allowances from the government.

There are close to 600 inmates at the Beggars’ Colony at present and nearly, 60-65 per cent of them are migrants, mainly from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, said K Venkataiah, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare department.

Baseline

“It is important to have a census of the beggars to know the social and economic state of the City. It also gives a baseline to create more dormitories and rehabilitation centres, especially for women, who face social barriers,” he added.

CRC officials from all over the State are participating in the workshop to determine their own way of conducting evidence-based census in their districts.

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