Bhopal, May 29: Perhaps motivated by a now popular trend of staging protests and pushing government to seek reservation or others demands, beggars in Bhopal recently staged a demonstration seeking Election I-cards, shelter and other facilities from government.
Organised under the banner of Gandhivad Jankalyan Samiti on Tuesday, the demonstration was participated by a majority of beggars of the estimated 20,000 existing across Madhya Pradesh.
allu Pehlwan President of Gandhivad Jankalyan Samiti, said that the beggars needed to be looked upon as fellow human beings and not outcasts and demanded setting up of a National Commission for beggars.
"All must realize that beggars, regardless of their profession, are also human beings and deserve a better conduct. They are made to run from the place they are sitting to earn their daily bread and butter. Are the beggars not human beings? Beggars should be given identity cards so that they can be saved from the terrorism, as the terrorists walk on the roads in the apparel of beggars," said Kallu Pehlwan, the organizer of the Beggars Congregation and President, Gandhivad Jankalyan Samiti.
Demonstrators contended that they should be given all the facilities as their legal right.
Besides, the demonstrators were aggrieved that be it general public or police, they have a hostile behaviour towards them. Besides, they were agitated over the inflation that has left them helpless and faced by a challenge to survive. "The problem is that I can't earn. If I beg, I don't get it. If I beg at the station, people give soiled notes, which are not in circulation. We demand either the government should provide us shelter, food and some help or should resign, otherwise we would be at the helm and would give them befitting treatment," said Mohammed Shariq, a beggar.
Several handicapped beggars, participating in the demonstration, rued the fact that that though were paid a pension rupees 150 by government but that's barely enough to survive a month in the wake of current increase in goods' prices.
"We should be provided at least thatched shelters... and our pensions should also be increased," said Meerabai, a handicapped beggar.