Bangladeshi beggars to be paid during WCup

Dhaka, Jan 30 (AP) A southeastern city in Bangladesh willpay local beggars to stay off the streets during next month''scricket World Cup.

Chittagong mayor Manzurul Alam said today that the citywill pay about 300 physically disabled beggars up to 150 takas(2.11) a day.

"Initially, it will continue for three months till end ofApril," Alam told The Associated Press. "We are planning topermanently rehabilitate them after that."

Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh, islocated 135 miles (215 kilometers) southeast of the capital,Dhaka.

Alam added that he expects to meet with the beggars''representatives on Tuesday to discuss the plan, which couldalso include free food and clothes.

Alam said he hopes to allow the "tourists and guests" tomove freely on the streets during the "prestigious" event.

Beggars are a common sight in Bangladeshi cities, with anestimated 700,000 calling the country home.

The World Cup takes place Feb. 19 to April 2 and isco-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. (AP) PDS

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