Not all are beggars

Three days later, however, he was bundled by the police in a van at the City Railway Station and dumped in the Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre, which he terms"sub jail".

Ask him about the food, he would use an invective: "If that's food, then what is water?" he asked referring to the rice and thin sambar which is given to the inmates at lunch and dinner.

Medical care? "No doctor ever saw me there. I'm not unwell, yet they have taken me to the Bowring Hospital just to show off how much they care," he said fearing that his kidney would be stolen. 

Madhu had left his family in Kerala hoping for a living. All he has got, however, is a subhuman life. He said the Centre has no dormitories. "We were not given any bed sheets or blankets. I slept on the floor," he told Deccan Herald.

Mohammad Mujtaba was once a fit driver living in Madivala. But ever since he was brought to the Centre eight months ago, his health has deteriorated to the extent that he can't even relieve himself. Desperately in need of a beedi, he beseeches every visitor for a puff.

Seeing his health, one can't help thinking the horrors he would have undergone at the Centre. It was only when his health limped to the extreme that the authorities shifted him to the hospital.

Shanth Kumar, a resident of LR Nagar, does not a have different story. Hardly able to move his limbs, he cannot lie down on the back. He bathed only after coming to the hospital as there is no water at the Centre. No doctor attended on him. "Had they taken care of me there, why would I have to come here?" he asks.

Most inmates complain that they were hounded up forcibly although they are not beggars. "I was working as a manual labourer at Chickpet when I was rounded up," Basavaraju from Nanjangud, Mysore district, said.

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