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Taken away by cops during day, beggars enjoy their night out on Hyderabad streets

Taken away by cops during day, beggars enjoy their night out on Hyderabad streets
Highlights

Who says beggars cant be choosers With the police department on the prowl to catch them and send them to rehabilitation centres, they have now found another way of hoodwinking the police they stay at home during the day and come out at nights

Hyderabad: Who says beggars can’t be choosers? With the police department on the prowl to catch them and send them to rehabilitation centres, they have now found another way of hoodwinking the police- they stay at home during the day and come out at nights.

In the last six months, the police department picked up 9,000 beggars and sent them to various rehabilitation centres. Presently, there are 300 beggars. Not all who took training at rehabilitation centres joined the mainstream, majority of them again go back to begging, said, Shailaja Mahapatra, a social activist who has been working on their lives for a book. She adds, “There are several reasons for them to return to old habits. They feel it is their comfort zone, secondly many get stifled by a disciplined life of waking up and going to work at an appointed time.”

Prisons and Correctional Services, Director General VK Singh said, “Presently, there are 300 beggars, both men and women are in rehabilitation centers. They will be counseled and sent back to their families. Till now over 9000 beggars are sent from rehabilitation centers.” Suraj, a medical transcriptionist says, “I do not see beggars in the morning. Earlier, it used to be hell to stop the vehicle at the crossroads at a signal as many would pester for money, but now we do not see them. It is a welcome change but to my surprise when I went to have biriyani at Paradise Hotel, I saw quite a few beggars.”

Many beggars are coming out of rehabilitation centers and seeking alms on roads but not during the day. We asked a beggar at Uppal why they are not seen in the morning. “The police is on the prowl so we come out at night. Few change at the rehabilitation centres, we are used to an easy life, so we return to what we know.” Kamala aged 60, who came from the rehabilitation center says, as I’m old, I cannot do any other work. I don’t beg during day time due to fear from police. If I stay at the rehabilitation centre, I would die, I am used to living on the streets.”

BY Nikhitha Mendu

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