Hyderabad: After gradual lifting of lockdown, rise in number of beggars has been witnessed in the city. Though there are several other reasons for this situation, casual workers losing their jobs due to pandemic has been one among them. Record increase in number of beggars has been seen during the past two weeks in Hyderabad.
Besides, house maids, ayas working in the schools and watchmen, others working in unorganized sectors have lost their jobs due to COVID related lockdown. As a result, they have resorted to begging. A large number of beggars are seen at various places of the city like traffic signals, bus stand, railway station, government offices and on busy roads.
Organisations working for the welfare of beggars have revealed that not only in Hyderabad but the same situation is prevailing in other cities of the country also. Prevailing situation, they believe, has been created due to the job loss in unorganized sector.
According to an estimate, more than 70% beggars seen on the roads are not professional beggars but finding no other means after losing jobs they have resorted to begging.
One can identify the professional beggars and non-professional beggars by observing their style of begging. Professional beggars have their permanent places of begging. They know very well from where they could collect more alms but the non-professional beggars do not have any such idea. Professional beggars refuse to take food items they are interested only in cash. This is not the case with non-professional beggars.
Those who have lost their jobs due to Covid situation were somehow managing to run the family so far but now they are not able to survive anymore and have been forced to opt for begging.
It must be recalled that to make Hyderabad beggar free, the prison department of Telangana lifted the beggars from the city’s streets and shift them to a shelter home called “Anand Ashram,” in December 2017.