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Child Begging Continues, Experts Call for Solving Deep-Rooted Societal Issues

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sanjay Samuel Paul

Published on: August 27, 2023 | Updated on: August 27, 2023

Motorists complain that beggars are turning rude and demanding in their quest to get alms. (File Image: DC)

Hyderabad: Even as the city police continue to crack down on child-begging rackets, arresting operators from other states and rescuing children, many return to the streets and the practice continues unabated across the city, say residents.

Rescued children and their parents or caretakers are provided with shelter at Boarabanda, Filmnagar, Rehmatnagar and Yousufguda. However, residents said that during Ganesh Chaturthi or Gandhi Jayanti, they return to the streets, first dressing up as deities or Gandhi.

A resident said, "In November 2017, when Ivanka Trump visited Hyderabad, civic authorities made the city beggar-free. How was it possible then, but not now? Are the civic authorities short of shelters for destitute?"

Motorists complain that beggars are turning rude and demanding in their quest to get alms.

Srinivas Rao, an IT employee, said: "I noticed a beggar make a scratch on a car as they denied money. Some also curse, if denied. When the city has lakhs of CCTV cameras, can’t authorities spot them? Once a year, they carry out rescue operations but later, they return."

Dr Ch Parandamulu, a sociologist, said, "If the practice is not stopped, child lifting and kidnapping of children by anti-social elements will increase as they get habituated to not working. In many cases, begging leads to crime. Many states tried to curb begging by passing laws, but mere legislative enactments cannot stop this. The solution is for a comprehensive programme and reorientation of the existing programmes."

He said, "The most important causes are poverty, loss of employment, lack of employment opportunities, physical and mental disability, incurable diseases, family disorganisation and broken families and religious sentiments."

Calling it a ‘great socio-economic problem’, Parandamulu said: "It is a symptom of personal, as well as social disorganisation. In India, although begging is an old profession, it has changed its form in the modern and the problem has become a colossal one."