New Delhi, Nov 24: The worst form of display of Indian poverty is the number of beggars we encounter on roads. Go to any city, town or a village, you will invariably end up greeting beggars on roads, traffic signals and shopping complexes, to name a few places, with their begging bowls asking for alms.
Either you simply ignore their pleas or take a sympathetic view towards their inhuman conditions to donate a few coins to get rid of your guilt.
Begging is so common across the country that it no more arouses our conscience to do something about it. However, the news report of three girls found begging, one of them in chains, at Anand Vihar metro station in Delhi is a testimony to the fact that how big is the begging racket in the country targetting the poor and vulnerable.
Thankfully, all the three girls were being rescued by the members of Delhi Commission for Women on Thursday night.
"The Delhi Commission for Women team visited Anand Vihar Metro Station late last night and rescued three girls who were being made to beg including one who was chained," tweeted ANI.
Delhi Commission for Women team visited Anand Vihar Metro Station late last night and rescued three girls who were being made to beg including one who was chained pic.twitter.com/Wa4jCEowNO— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2017
The deplorable condition of the three rescued girls shocked the team members of Delhi Commission for Women. "It's shocking that the three girls, one of them in chains, have been begging in the metro station and nobody did anything about it. Have we become so immune to others' misery? The case should be properly investigated by the police to arrest the culprits who have forced the girls to beg," said a Delhi-based activist, who works with the homeless.
According to a 2015 government report, there are 4,13,670 beggars--2.2 lakh males and 1.91 lakh females--in the country.
While West Bengal records the highest number of beggars with over 81,000 of them, Lakshadweep merely has two vagrants, the government report stated.
Of all the union territories, Delhi recorded the largest number of vagrants--2,187 followed by Chandigarh with 121.
However, activists working with homeless and beggars say that the government figure in regard to the begging population is highly depreciated.
In India, the act of begging is a crime in 20 states and two union territories. Thus, those found begging are likely to be arrested by the police.