A common scene at a traffic Signal these days other than the honking and exhaust gases are the child beggars who keep moving around the traffic signals begging as soon as the signal is red. Or how many of you have been followed by these children near the college or the bus stand.
Belgaum is no different to this and now one could find as many 8-10 children begging at the signals and a few with some infants as well.
Belgaum based NGO Mahesh foundation along with others did a comprehensive survey of these child beggars and results of the survey are astonishing.
The survey could identify 216 local children and 76 who came here from other states like UP, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand. All the surveyed were within the age group of 1 to 14.
These children mainly reside in Vantmuri, Rukhmini Nagar & Ganeshpur. The main reason for the families which come over here is employment like construction labour.
Each child begs(earns) Rs.250 daily which is the minimum and most of the children begging have fathers who are drunkards and both parents and children have no formal education.
The money they get is spent on food and they have non veg food atleast once in two days and they love to watch hindi movies. Each and every new Hindi movie asked was seen by these children.
Most of them also drink and smoke heavily.
Some other facts:
17 children had mobiles with them
149 children had electronic gadgets like TV, Mixer etc at their home
36 were orphans but having one parent
23 were orphans without any parent
157 children had both parents living
out of the 216 children identified from Belgaum: 178 are residents from here and 38 are from other districts
174 children had parents who were healthy and could easily work for a living
The survey was conducted by Mahesh Foundation’s Mahesh Jadhav, Adesh Barde, Sandeep Patil, Shashidhar Nagnur and they were helped by Roshni Nilay a MSW student from Mangalore. The survey was conducted between 09.03.2011 to 23.05.2011.
These above facts are disheartening and a memorandum was given to the SP Sandeep Patil in which it was urged that such beggars should be removed from the city.