There has been a rise in the number of beggars in Gurgaon. While Iffco Chowk, Signature Tower, Huda Metro Station and Golf Course Road have become favourite haunts for them, one can find them anywhere.
Meanwhile, there is no plan to rehabilitate beggars. In fact, the authorities don’t even have a count of beggars living in the Millennium City.
The city does not have a single government-run rehabilitation centre. According to an RTI reply, that was sought by Aseem Takyar, a city-based RTI activist, it was highlighted that the District Child Welfare Council running the ‘Street Children Project’ has been shut since 2012-2013 because the state had stopped funding it. The reason: there were hardly any children who could be rehabilitated and the staff to guide the children was never enough.
“95% of the street children are uneducated. No one takes any pain to educate them or take them out of this organized crime. Many of them are brought to Gurgaon for begging from different states and the administration turns a blind eye on this issue,” said Takyar.
At Iffco Chowk, there are five families begging from last nine years and at Signature Tower there are three families, said Raju Kumar, a beggar who moved to Gurgaon in 2003 and changed locations several times till he found Iffco Chowk.
Vandita Sharma, a Sohna Road resident said, “The children (beggars) at Signature Tower often chase me for cash or eatables. Last week, I refused to pay them. They got angry and scratched my car.”
On an average a child beggar earns Rs. 300-400 per day and during weekends even double. According to observers, experienced adults manage to collect Rs. 1,000-1,200 a day.
ACP (Crime) Rajesh Kumar, said, “We do not have exact figures of beggars in the city. We will ask NGO’s to work in this direction but neither the children nor the families want to reform. They want to remain in this trade.”