Ahmedabad: Beggars are very common in our lives. We can find beggars everywhere in the city where we live. They beg in the streets, in front of the shops, and come house-to-house to get money. Beggars come in many forms of people. She or he can be a child, teenager, or even elder.
But most of the beggars are literate out of 3.72 lakh beggars all over India 21% are literate, who have passed senior secondary certificate exams and above. According to 2011 data on ‘Non-workers by main activity and education level’ released earlier this week is 3,000 beggars. Who are with professional diplomas, or are graduates and even post-graduates.
virtually our country faces a crisis of escalating youth unemployment, which leads to beggary. Some beggars even have day jobs but beg as a side-income if they fail to get satisfactory jobs.
The low-skilled comprise the bulk of the unemployed. Dinesh Khodhabhai (45),a class 12 pass out, who seek alms around Bhadra Kali temple in Ahmedabad and can speak quite decent English says. “I may be poor but I am an honest man. I beg as it fetches me more money, Rs 200 a day. My last job of a ward boy in a hospital got me only Rs 100 a day.”
Many graduates are left without legitimate and decent means of earning a living. A third-year BCom fail beggar Sudhir Babulal (51)came to Ahmedabad from Vijapur town in search of work but he could not find a decent job and end up as beggar. He earns Rs 150 per day.
He said “After my wife left me, where was the need to keep a house? I sleep on the riverfront and beg.”
Post graduate Dashrath Parmar (52),who holds MCom degree from Gujarat University, father of three, lives on free meals offered by charity organizations and his mother is hospitalized. Dashrath aspired for government job but could not do well in private job also.
A high school pass Ashok Jaisur father of ninegirls and a son from Mumbai started begging after he lost his job as security guard due to cataract problem and now he begs at Lal Darwaza. Ashok says.”I have only one wish: to make my son Raj an animator.”
Biren Joshi of Manav Sadhana an NGO working with beggars says “It’s difficult to rehabilitate beggars as they get lured back due to easy money.”
A sociologist Gaurang Jani says “People with degrees turning to begging reflects the grim employment scenario. People turn to soliciting alms when they do not get decent jobs and have no social support to fall back on.”