Karachi, Sep 9 : Professional beggars, mostly women and children, can be seen in the streets and shopping centers of Karachi throughout the year, but their number increases greatly during the holy month of Ramazan.
Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF) President Rana Asif Habib said that normally there are around 100,000 beggars in the city but during Ramazan, the average number of beggars surpasses one million.
According to the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust (ABWT) Vice Chairman Sarim Burney, beggary has become an international issue today.
"Begging is an easy source of income and so eunuchs have also pounded the city. Basically, it is the duty of government to take concrete steps for the eradication of this social evil. Those who give these beggars money are unintentionally promoting beggary," commented Burney.
There are 360 beggar families, called Badree, permanently settled in Jamshed Town in Chanesar Goth. Moreover, there are more than 250 huts of another group of beggars, commonly known as 'Mangarr' (Seraiki for beggar).
There are around 60 Burmese and Bengali colonies in the city, with a population of approximately 1.5 million, the Daily Times reported.
A majority of these people are linked to the fishery and textile industry but when unemployed, they resort to begging, mostly in the vicinity of Jama Cloth Market and the various shrines of the city.
Other areas frequented by the residents of these colonies include Super Market, Clifton, Hyderi Market, North Nazimabad, Ayesha Manzil, Water Pump in Federal B Area and Abul Hassan Esphahani Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
To make matters worse, a good number of Afghan immigrants have settled around Sohrab Goth, Nusrat Bhutto Colony, Banaras Chowk, Landhi Fisher Colony, Shireen Jinnah Colony, Khurkar Chowrangi and Abdullah Shah Ghazi's tomb.
The beggars operate in an organized manner and have lords who shelter them from the police and government authorities. For example, Bada Babu is in charge of the beggars of Burns Road, while Chota Multani and Arshad Gujranwalia are in charge of other areas.